Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Andre Marriner
Date & Time – Saturday, April 24th @ 12:30
Current Odds – Liverpool 2/7, Draw 19/4, Newcastle 8/1
What a shitshow we’ve witnessed in the football world in the last few days. Our club, disappointingly, was at the centre of all that is wrong with the game at the minute. The proposed Super League was a dire idea and I hope it dissolves into the ether like the scarily realistic nightmare that it was.
Anyway, let’s try to get on with the actual football for now.
Liverpool have drawn their last two games – 0-0 against Real Madrid, 1-1 at Leeds – and are now battling to keep their season alive. The Reds were dumped out of the Champions League last week by Zinedine Zidane’s Blancos and then let a three-point opportunity slip to a late Diego Llorente equaliser at Elland Road on Monday. That draw with Leeds leaves Liverpool two points behind West Ham and that coveted top-four Premier League position.
Thankfully, Jürgen Klopp’s side has at least gotten over its Anfield hoodoo thanks to a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa earlier this month.
Newcastle United Form
Newcastle have won two consecutive games and are all-but-safe now in their battle for Premier League survival. They are 8 points above Fulham and the relegation zone.
The Magpies’ two recent wins have come away to Burnley (2-1) and at home to West Ham (3-2). They have only lost once in their last seven games.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool are without Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Joël Matip, Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi, and Caoimhin Kelleher. Curtis Jones and Nat Phillips will face fitness tests later in the week.
Hopefully, Phillips will be passed fit as his presence in the back four will allow Fabinho to return to his role in defensive midfield.
Alisson Becker will be in goal for The Reds with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at right and left-back respectively. Ozan Kabak continues to impress despite his young age and looks like a player Liverpool really should snap up on a permanent deal come the summer. If Phillips is fit, he will partner Kabak in central defence. If not, then Fabinho will slot into the back four in Phillips’ place.
I think Gini Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcântara will start in midfield with Fabinho.
Mohamed Salah should return to the starting lineup as part of the front trio alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané.
Newcastle United Team News
Newcastle’s current injuries include Jamaal Lascelles, Ryan Fraser, Fabian Schär, and Isaac Hayden. They will all miss this trip to Anfield. Allan Saint-Maximin is also a doubt so will undergo a fitness test before Saturday.
Steve Bruce has been setting his team up in a 5-3-2 formation and will most likely stick with the same shape this weekend.
Joelinton has two goals in his last three games and will lead the line for The Magpies. He will be alongside Saint-Maximin in attack if the Frenchman is passed fit.
Jonjo Shelvey should captain Newcastle from midfield as he lines out against his old club again.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Thiago; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Newcastle United XI (5-3-2) – Dúbravka; Murphy, Fernández, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie; Longstaff S, Shelvey, Almirón; Saint-Maximin, Joelinton
WHEN THEY LAST MET
The teams drew 0-0 when they met at St James’ Park in their final games of 2020 in late December. There wasn’t much to report from that game.
Liverpool won 3-1 when the sides met at Anfield last season. Sadio Mané (x2) and Mohamed Salah were on the scoresheet for The Reds after Newcastle’s Jetro Willems had given the visitors an early lead.
LIVERPOOL 3 – 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED
Everything is all over the place with Liverpool currently. Hopefully, a solid home win can restore some sense of normalcy. Jürgen Klopp’s Reds must continue on as if the battle for a top-four finish is the most important thing in their world right now. They have to banish all thoughts of this Super League out of their minds and get the three points as, with a little bit of luck, the Super League may not go ahead at any stage in the near future. Here’s hoping anyway.