Newcastle host Liverpool at St. James’ Park on Sunday in the weekend’s showpiece fixture. This is traditionally one of the division’s highest-scoring matches and the Reds are 13 matches without losing to The Toon including winning all of the last four meetings.
Howe’s team superbly began the season as they thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 at home. That performance saw them create nine ‘big chances’ and put up 3.41 Expected Goals. Things were less impressive at Man City last week with the coach saying his team were off their best technically. They only managed seven shots and 0.29 Expected Goals.
After securing the top four last season, they had a slight dip towards the end of the campaign. After losing 2-0 at home to Arsenal, they drew three of their final four league matches. That included a goalless stalemate at Leicester and then a 1-1 draw on the final day at Chelsea.
Newcastle Team News
Eddie Howe has a big question mark on the availability of Joelinton in midfield. He hobbled off against Man City. Joe Willock is still out in the same area. Sean Longstaff is on standby to come into the XI if Joelinton can’t start.
Newcastle have a settled side and aren’t expected to make any changes. Anthony Gordon will start ahead of Harvey Barnes and Alexander Isak will play up front with Callum Wilson on the bench. Emil Krafth and Javier Manquillo remain on the treatment table.
After the meek defeat at City, Newcastle could come up very fast in this match. They’re outstanding with their home support behind them.
A high-octane pressing game is expected. If leading, they tend to drop deeper and use counter attacks with their pace in the front three. A draw isn’t a disaster but the Magpies will go all out to win.
It’s four points from two matches for Liverpool this season. A 1-1 draw on the opening day at Chelsea was a decent result but below-par performance. Klopp’s team had 36% possession in a tired-looking second half and allowed five ‘big chances’ to Chelsea in the match. Last week, they came from behind to beat Bournemouth 3-1 at home. The Reds created an impressive 3.08 xG and had 26 shots.
Klopp’s charges finished fifth last season, four points off the top four places. After a 6-1 win at Leeds, they won five more matches on the bounce by one goal margins before winning 3-0 at Leicester. With the top four gone, they dropped points in their final two league matches. They had a 1-1 home with Aston Villa and a 4-4 at relegated Southampton in round 38.
Liverpool Team News
Jurgen Klopp has Alexis Mac Allister are his red card vs Bournemouth was overturned. Thiago Alcantara is still out injured in midfield and Curtis Jones also misses out with an ankle problem. Trent Alexander-Arnold is carrying a knock but he should shake it off to play this one.
Cody Gakpo is set to continue in the midfield trio with Diogo Jota up front. Darwin Nunez will have to settle for an outing from the bench yet again. Stefan Bajcetic is available after a long injury and nearly signed Wataru Endo is an option in midfield if more cover defensively is preferred.
Liverpool will know how tough this trip will be. They will play to win because Klopp’s side with basically five attackers is not able to sit back and absorb pressure.
A draw would be a good result in reality and the Reds could be satisfied to bring on Endo or Joe Gomez in the final 20 minutes to be more solid.
Newcastle have lost just 2 of their 21 home EPL matches (W13, D6)
Newcastle have won 10 of their last 15 league matches (3 draws in last 6)
NUFC have scored 2+ goals in 10 of their last 15 EPL fixtures
Liverpool are 13 EPL matches unbeaten (8 wins, 5 draws)
Liverpool have won their last 4 matches vs Newcastle (& unbeaten in 13)
LFC have won 3 of their last 5 away Premier League matches (16 goals scored)
This match will surely have goals to enjoy. Liverpool are built to score and to concede too with no genuine defensive midfielder. Newcastle throws men forward at home and have strong impact subs to score late in the match. They feel due to finally beating the Reds but backing the goals markets may be safer.