Liverpool host Newcastle United at Anfield on Thursday night, as the Premier League’s festive fixtures kick into gear. The Reds lie 2nd on the table with 37 points, a point behind Manchester City; whilst Newcastle sit 19th, just above Norwich on goal difference. Read on for a preview of the game.

Newcastle fans finally saw the back of Mike Ashley when a consortium consisting of PCP Capital Partners, Reuben Brothers and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia completed the takeover of the club two months ago. There was finally optimism amongst the St James faithful.

They had just won the lottery, with their sudden striking of gold the stuff of their wildest dreams. They now boasted the richest owners in the UK and all of Europe. They were being linked with the Mbappes, Salahs, Haalands and Lewandowskis of this world by overzealous newspapers.

As is the life of a Newcastle fan, the initial optimism has faded as they stare at the real risk of becoming the richest club in history to be relegated. The nasty end to Steve Bruce’s tenure, coupled with the lengthy process of finding a replacement, saw them sleepwalk through several weeks in the top flight.

The fans went from day-dreaming of Zidane taking over to seeing Paulo Fonseca turn them down. The new owners went through a number of names before finally settling on former Bournemouth manager, Eddie Howe. It’s been five matches since his appointment, and Newcastle have improved.

They have picked up 5 points, as many as they managed in the previous ten matches, with their win over Burnley incredibly being their first of the season. They are just coming off a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Leicester City though, and have been handed a Christmas schedule from hell.

After the trip to Anfield on Thursday, the Magpies host Manchester City, before travelling to Old Trafford. Things could be looking grim by the time they travel to Everton on New Year’s Eve. Eddie Howe will be hoping the club can flex it’s newly earned financial muscle in the winter transfer window.

For Liverpool, the focus will very much be on getting the three points on offer with minimum fuss. They travel to Conte’s revitalised Spurs three days after this tie, so will want to put Newcastle away early to avoid the intense end they’ve had to endure in their last two outings.

Jürgen Klopp won’t underestimate his opponents but will want his side to show a more clinical edge than they portrayed against Wolves and Villa. The Reds are on a seven game winning streak and know they have to keep winning to stay in the title race.

That they’ve found their defensive balance, keeping five clean sheets in the last seven across all competitions, bodes well. With the non-stop nature of the festive fixtures, that defensive solidity will come in handy, with just the one goal needed to nick games.

Newcastle managed to hold Liverpool twice last season, with a gutsy goalless draw in December last year, followed up by a 1-1 draw at Anfield in April. Joe Willock scored the equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game after the hosts had squandered a number of chances throughout.

This fixture is one of the highest scoring in Premier League history, with the double 4-3s of the late nineties remaining classics. Jürgen Klopp will be hoping his men get back into the goals, with just four scored in the last three across all competitions. Newcastle have the worst defensive record in the league after all, conceding a league high 34.

With Manchester City leading Leeds United 5-0 at the time of writing, and Chelsea hosting a hapless Everton on Thursday, it is imperative the Reds take care of business. City have the easiest set of festive fixtures so the Reds have to match their pace and remain handily placed to capitalise on any slip ups in the New Year.

Team News

For Liverpool, Harvey Elliot (ankle) and Nat Phillips (cheekbone) remain out but Curtis Jones has resumed training after an eye injury. Roberto Firmino should also be fit, whilst Origi remains a doubt with a sore knee. For Newcastle, Frederico Fernandez and Paul Dummet are out.

Key Players

Mohamed Salah has been the best player in the world this season

Mohamed Salah

He scored his 21st goal of the season last time out, with his penalty winning the game for his side. His tally of nine assists means he’s been directly involved in more goals (30) than any player from Europe’s top five leagues. The man is unstoppable at the minute. Good luck to the Magpies backline.

Sadio Mané

The Senegalese has failed to score in any of his last six appearances but that has been down to bad luck more than anything. He’s seen two goals ruled out by the faintest of offside margins recently. He will want to put that right though, and which better opponent than the worst defence in the land?

Allan Saint-Maximin

The 24 year old remains Newcastle’s best player, alongside striker Callum Wilson. The fleet footed winger can be devastating on his day, with his turn of pace and ability to carry the ball over distances almost unmatched. With 3 goals and 3 assists, he’s improved on his output from last season and will look to capitalise on the space the fullbacks leave behind.



  1. Good to see Curtis Jones and Roberto Firmino back in the squad, more addition to the midfield and attack, Newcastle shouldn’t be a problem for liverpool, keeping to the game plan and executing it to perfection all all we need, we have the quality in every department, it’s a win win situation. YNWA 🔴

    Liked by 1 person

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