Newcastle v Liverpool
Saturday 19th October
Kick Off – 12:45
Liverpool: Mignolet, Sahko, Skrtel, Toure, Enrique, Leiva, Henderson, Sterling, Moses, Sturrdge and Suarez
Newcastle: Krul, Santon, Debuchy, Williamson, Taylor, Tiote, Sissoko, Cabaye, Remy, Gouffran, Cisse.
Prepare yourself for a thunderous battle of epic proportions as Newcastle host Liverpool this weekend! Why so bombastic? Because this is officially the second most exciting PL fixture ever! In fact, in the 38 PL meetings between the two sides there’s never been a 0-0 and only one fixture (the North London derby) has produced more goals.
Fans of a certain age will no doubt get rather misty eyed at this video of what is widely regarded as the greatest PL game ever.
So it’s historically been a pretty good one but why should we expect anything special on Saturday? Ignoring the blanket retort of ‘it’s Newcastle’ this game pits a fine attack verses a fairly shoddy defence whilst seeing the league’s two hottest strikers face off.
Liverpool have been scoring very well and lay claim to the third highest goals for column in the league, whereas Newcastle have been shipping bags of them with only bottom boys Crystal Palace and Sunderland boasting worse goals against tallys. Adding to that sense of frailty at the back is the rather unwelcome news for Alan Pardew that his captain, Fabricio Coloccini picked up a gammy hamstring playing for Argentina this weekend.
Despite their defensive woes Newcastle have been scoring quite well and have French star, Loic Remy to thank for that. He’s been in red hot form since his loan move from QPR in the summer and sits second in the PL scoring charts, one behind Sturridge at the moment.
Newcastle, despite the perennial air of scandal and unrest surrounding the club are actually doing alright at the moment in 11th just behind Villa and Man United on goal difference.
Going into this match Brendan Rodgers has a number of choices to make as his sizeable squad fills out with the return of several senior players from injury. Full backs Glen Jonhson and Ally Cissoko both return from ankle problems whilst Joe Allen has recovered from a hamstring strain. Johnson’s fitness makes a return to a flat back four a possibility whilst it wouldn’t be a surprise to see briny old seadog, Steven Gerrard, given the day off here considering his exertions with England over the last week or so. There are also a few filthy little rumours doing the rounds that Phillipe Coutinho has shaken off his shoulder injury well ahead of schedule, but I’ll believe that when I ruddy well see it.
Suarez and Sturridge both came through the international break unscathed and should partner each other in attack. Whilst Rodgers clearly has options at his disposal he’s only really made big changes when forced to this season so I’m going to predict he’ll stick with the 3-4-1-2 that’s seen them win the last two on the bounce. Combine that with the lack of match sharpness his returning men will no doubt be carrying, I think we can expect a similar formation to previously with Lucas (back from suspension) filling in for Gerrard and the likes of Johnson and Allen to be introduced from the bench later on.
Expect Newcastle to persevere with the 4-3-3 that saw then take the 3 points at Cardiff last time out. The only predicted change is for Coloccini’s place to be filled by the returning Steven Taylor – which is never usually good for teams looking to keep things tight and sensible at the back.
Newcastle v Liverpool predicted score – I think we’ll see some high scoring fun here owing to Newcastle’s slightly shoddy defence, shorn of their captain, and the red hot form being displayed by the likes of Sturridge, Suarez and Remy of late. I think it’ll remain tight till late on but I’m putting my money on a 1-3 Liverpool victory. Disagree with that? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll pretend to care.
Where Can I Watch This?
Not sure where your nearest bar with BT Sport is? Head this way to see your closest pub showing Newcastle v Liverpool live on TV. Are you a Scouser exiled in London? You could do a lot worse than rolling out of bed on Saturday morning and heading over to Ruse in Borough. They are a hub for Reds fans in the capital and are always packed out for Liverpool games. Head over early to guarantee a seat or book ahead here.