Opposition Analysis: Liverpool travel to Newcastle United

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Liverpool travel to the North-East

The Reds come into the game off the back of a 3-1 victory against Bournemouth, whilst the Magpies will be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Both sides will be aiming to qualify for the UEFA Champions League by the end of the season, so this game could prove pivotal by the end of the campaign.

In this article, we’re going to be analysing Liverpool’s opponents in Newcastle United and looking into where Eddie Howe’s men could cause problems.

Team News:

Former Red, Javi Manquillo will be sidelined with a groin injury, whilst Joe Willock and Emil Krafth will miss the game with a thigh and a knee injury.

Liverpool supporters may be slightly relieved to see the back of Joe Willock, who scored a 95th minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Anfield back in 2021.

Furthermore, it’s yet to see what reaction Bruno Guimaraes will get from the Newcastle supporters after a heavy-worded tweet done the rounds on social media during the week.

How will Eddie Howe set his side up?

During his time at St. James’ Park, Howe has always opted to set his side up in a classic 4-3-3 formation with one defensive midfielder.

Howe’s starting eleven has remained the same in both of the Magpies’ opening two fixtures, so I woulld expect to see the same again here.

Nick Pope will undoubtedly start between the sticks, with an Anfield return for Loris Karius unlikely as Martin Dubravka nails his place down as number two.

The two centre-backs will be Sven Botman and Fabian Schar, who formed a formidable partnership last season.

Jurgen Klopp has plenty of choice between Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez but whoever starts for the Reds will give the defenders a headache.

Kieran Trippier will likely partner Dan Burn on either side of the defence, with the difficult task of keeping Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah quiet.

Although a first start for Tino Livramento may not be totally out of the question, with the youngster coming off the bench in both games.

Despite the surrounding controversy, Bruno Guimareas will be deployed at the base of the midfield with Joelinton and Sandro Tonali either side.

Alexander Isak and Miguel Almiron are likely nailed down as two of the three forwards in Howe’s setup.

However, one potential change to the lineup could be Harvey Barnes to come in for former Everton man Anthony Gordon.

Ones to watch

Alexander Isak:

The Frenchman has become a star at Newcastle United since his £65million move from Real Sociedad last summer.

Isak has scored 12 goals and assisted 3 in 29 appearances for Newcastle, including two goals in the 5-1 opening day victory against Aston Villa.

Another one of those goals came in his debut at Anfield last season, where the Reds would eventually come out as 2-1 winners with a 98th minute winner from Fabio Carvalho.

Sandro Tonali:

Newcastle’s marquee signing this summer has already become a popular figure on Tyneside, after scoring six minutes into his Premier League debut against Aston Villa.

Alongside Guimaraes and Joelinton, Eddie Howe has an extremely hard-working but also technically gifted midfield three.

The physicality of that midfield three will be incredibly hard to match on Sunday and Liverpool’s need for a physical presence in midfield may be highlighted more than ever.

Tonali’s late runs into the box could cause serious problems for Klopp, in a more devastating way than Enzo Fernandez’s movement against Chelsea in the opening weekend.

Harvey Barnes:

Regardless of whether the winger starts the game or comes on from the bench, his speed and movement could cause Trent Alexander-Arnold problems.

Barnes has always been a direct runner, which is the main component behind most of his goal contributions.

In the opening day win over Aston Villa. Barnes came on as a 68th minute substitute but that didn’t stop him from setting up Callum Wilson before putting himself on the scoresheet in added time.

I certainly think that most Liverpool supporters would rather see Anthony Gordon start the game, ahead of Harvey Barnes.

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