Liverpool hope to gain ground on Newcastle United when they host the Magpies at Anfield.
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Liverpool seem constantly on the verge of turning that metaphorical corner, but then (to stretch this awful analogy beyond where it should ever go) they carry on in a straight line of despair.
The Reds’ biggest source of optimism was in the cup competitions last season, taking home the Carling Cup trophy and runners-up medals in the FA Cup. That is why Wednesday’s loss to Swansea City felt like such a missed opportunity, and pieces must be picked up against Newcastle United in the Premier League this Sunday.
In some ways Newcastle have been the antithesis to Liverpool in the last few seasons.
Their transfer market activity has been based on thorough scouting abroad and clever deals, while they have also shown immense faith in manager Alan Pardew. Contrast Liverpool with overspending on British players and the sacking of both Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish under the FSG regime.
Both sides will look at sending out a message in this game – for very different reasons.
Venue Anfield, Sunday 4pm
Tickets Sold out
Last season Liverpool 3 Newcastle 1
Referee Anthony Taylor
This season’s matches 7 Y13, R2, 2.14 cards per game
Odds Liverpool 4-7 Newcastle 5-1 Draw 3-1
Subs from Reina, Gulacsi, Carragher, Coates, Shelvey, Henderson, José Enrique, Downing, Assaidi, Morgan, Robinson, Cole, Yesil, Pacheco
Doubtful Reina (hamstring), Johnson (thigh)
Injured Lucas (thigh, 26 Nov), Borini (foot, Jan), Kelly (knee, Mar)
Form guide DWDWLD
Disciplinary record Y14 R2
Leading scorer Suárez 6
Subs from Harper, S Taylor, Ferguson, Anita, Bigiramana, Cissé, Sammy Ameobi, Obertan, Marveaux, Campbell
Doubtful Ba (shin)
Injured Elliot (groin, 10 Nov), Vuckic (knee, Aug), R Taylor (Aug), Gosling (knee, unknown), Ferguson (hip, unknown)
Suspended Tioté (second match of three)
Form guide WDLDWD
Disciplinary record Y21 R1
Leading scorer Ba 7
fanatix predicted line-ups:
Newcastle have not beaten Liverpool at Anfield in the league for more than 18 years since Rob Lee and Andy Cole scored in a 2-0 victory in April 1994 (D2, L15).
The Reds have won their last seven home matches against Newcastle. Each of those wins was by at least a two-goal margin.
Alan Pardew’s first match as Newcastle manager came against Liverpool – a 3-1 home victory in December 2010.
Liverpool have avoided defeat in their last four Premier League games (W2, D2), their longest unbeaten run in 2012.
They are attempting to win successive league matches at Anfield for the first time in 14 months.
The Reds have conceded 14 Premier League goals – their worst record at this stage of the season since 1992-93.
Steven Gerrard is set to make his 600th appearance for Liverpool in all competitions.
The Magpies have failed to win their previous eight away games in league and cup (D5, L3). Their last away victory was at Chelsea on 2 May.Demba Ba has scored seven of Newcastle’s 11 league goals so far this season.
Since 25 February all of Newcastle’s league goals have been scored by players whose surnames begin with the letters A, B or C (excluding own goals).
fanatix prediction: Liverpool 1-1 Newcastle United. Reds to take lead early, but clinical form of Ba will give the Magpies a share of the points.
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