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Preview: Liverpool vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Liverpool and Newcastle United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Liverpool will aspire to get their charge for a top-four Premier League finish back on track when they play host to Newcastle United at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime.

The Reds dropped two points in a 1-1 draw at Leeds United last time out, while Newcastle's upturn in fortunes continued with a 3-2 win over top-four chasing West Ham United.


Match preview

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on April 19, 2021© Reuters

With the European Super League dead in the water, for now, Liverpool and their infuriated supporters will simply be eyeing a top-four place in a race that Jurgen Klopp conceded defeat in during their dismal run in the winter period.

However, the Reds have turned their fortunes around since then and boast 10 points from their last four matches in the top flight, although they were pegged back in heartbreaking fashion at Leeds, as Diego Llorente headed in a late equaliser after Sadio Mane slotted home into an empty net to break the deadlock.

That 1-1 stalemate at Elland Road saw Liverpool's three-game winning run in the Premier League away from home come to a grinding halt, and they have since been leapfrogged by Ryan Mason's Tottenham Hotspur following their midweek win over Southampton, with Klopp's men currently seventh in the rankings and two points off the top four.

A Trent Alexander-Arnold special against Aston Villa ensured that Liverpool's abysmal top-flight Anfield run came to an end on April 10 - they had lost their last six and were winless in eight before that - but they have kept just one clean sheet in their last 10 Premier League games on home soil.

Furthermore, the Reds could equal an unwanted 13-year-old record if they concede first at home for the eighth Premier League game in a row - a feat last achieved by Sunderland in 2008 - and there are certainly no guarantees against a resurgent Newcastle after they came up trumps against another top-four chasing team last weekend.

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates scoring against West Ham United in the Premier League on April 17, 2021© Reuters

Joe Willock has clearly not forgotten his Arsenal roots since heading out on loan to Newcastle, as the Englishman followed up a late equaliser against Tottenham Hotspur with a late winner against another capital outfit in West Ham United during an enthralling 3-2 success for the Magpies.

Newcastle appeared to be strolling towards a comfortable win as an Issa Diop own goal and a Joelinton strike put them 2-0 up at half time, by which point Craig Dawson had been given his marching orders, but Diop rectified his first-half mistake with a goal before Jesse Lingard's penalty levelled the scores.

Despite being on the pitch for a matter of seconds, Willock met Matt Ritchie's cross and directed a powerful header past Lukasz Fabianski, who got a hand on his effort but could not keep it out, and Newcastle secured back-to-back wins following their previous success at Burnley.

Steve Bruce's side are by no means home and dry just yet, but seven points from their last three matches has propelled them up to 15th in the table - eight clear of the dropzone with a game in hand on 18th-placed Fulham - so a couple more wins ought to do the trick for the Magpies now.

However, Newcastle have to face Arsenal, Leicester City and Manchester City after their trip to Anfield, and the North-East side are winless in their last 24 Premier League trips to Anfield since a 2-0 win in April 1994, although they did hold Liverpool to a goalless draw on December 30.

Liverpool Premier League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

Newcastle United Premier League form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W



Team News

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring their first goal against Aston Villa on April 10, 2021© Reuters

As well as long-term absentees Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson, Nat Phillips was ruled out of the trip to Elland Road with a minor hamstring problem, and the centre-back will not make the cut this weekend.

Fabinho could therefore be forced to deputise in the heart of defence once more, which would guarantee another start in midfield for Thiago, but Curtis Jones is set to return to the fold this weekend.

Mohamed Salah surprisingly started on the bench against Leeds but is sure to feature in the first XI this weekend, and Diogo Jota may be the unlucky member of Klopp's front three to drop out.

The luckless Allan Saint-Maximin had to be withdrawn just after the hour mark against West Ham with an ankle problem, and given his previous fitness concerns, it would be a surprise to see him line up this week.

However, Callum Wilson is back in the fold and should earn a place up top in Saint-Maximin's possible absence, but fellow attacker Ryan Fraser is not expected back from a groin problem just yet.

Willock will hope to have done enough to warrant a start after two crucial goals from the bench, but Bruce may opt to keep using the Arsenal loanee as a super sub for the time being.

Defensive trio Isaac Hayden, Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar all remain sidelined for the long term, and Karl Darlow is also out following a knee operation.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Kabak, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie; Shelvey, Longstaff; Almiron; Wilson, Joelinton


SM words green background

We say: Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle United

Newcastle are enjoying a hot streak at the perfect time for Bruce as he bids to steer them clear of the dreaded trapdoor, but they remain suspect at the back with three key defensive players nursing injuries.

The possible loss of Saint-Maximin would be a killer blow to their attacking prowess, and while Anfield is not the fortress that it once was, a well-rested Salah and his teammates will hope to march to another three points against the Magpies.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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How you voted: Liverpool vs Newcastle

Liverpool
76.1%
Draw
11.5%
Newcastle United
12.4%
218
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Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce pictured on March 7, 2021
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Steve Bruce not "jumping and hollering" after dramatic West Ham win
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City36265576294783
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd362010670422870
3Leicester CityLeicester362061065442166
4Chelsea361810855332264
5Liverpool36189963422163
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs361781163412259
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham361781156461059
8Everton36168124643356
9Arsenal361671350381255
10Leeds UnitedLeeds36165155753453
11Aston Villa36147155144749
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves36129153549-1445
13Crystal Palace36128164061-2144
14Southampton36127174763-1643
15Burnley36109173351-1839
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle36109174362-1939
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton36814143742-538
RFulham36512192650-2427
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom36511203370-3726
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3662281962-4320

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