Liverpool will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the Premier League season when they welcome Newcastle to Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds are out to make it five wins from five and will it be a major shock if they don’t, although Steve Bruce’s Magpies have already stunned another of the big guns this season, winning 1-0 away at Tottenham in August.
You can listen to commentary of Liverpool vs Newcastle LIVE on talkSPORT, kick-off 12:30pm – the first of our three live commentaries on GameDay.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp will be without goalkeeper Alisson Becker once more, with Adrian again deputising between the sticks.
The Brazilian, who picked up an injury on the opening day, is back in training but will not be pushed back into action.
Klopp may be able to call upon Naby Keita, however, with the midfielder available for selection.
The Guinea international has not featured in the Premier League this season due to a thigh injury but is back in full training and could take a spot on the bench.
Georginio Wijnaldum performed very well on international duty for the Netherlands, scoring in both of their games against Germany and Estonia.
However, Klopp may decide to bring James Milner back into midfield against his former club and give Wijnaldum a rest.
Milner has retired from international football so is rested and refreshed and could line up alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the middle of the park.
In defence, the back four that has started for Liverpool in their last three games should remain the same this weekend.
Despite being benched at the start of the season in favour of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip has really consolidated his place as Virgil van Dijk’s centre-back partner in Liverpool’s back-line.
Like Milner, Matip doesn’t play international football after declaring his retirement from duty with Cameroon in January 2017.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to continue at right-back although, having played 90 minutes for England on Tuesday night, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gomez start.
Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are all fit and should lead the line, looking to add to their combined tally of seven goals this season.
Mane was fuming with Salah against Burnley last time out, showing his frustration with his teammate after being substituted for not passing to him. But the ‘spat’ was laughed off by Klopp, who insists there are no problems between the pair.
Predicted Liverpool line-up
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- Derby vs Cardiff (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Liverpool vs Newcastle (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Fulham vs West Brom (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Tottenham vs Crystal Palace (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Norwich vs Man City (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Huddersfield vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Barnsley vs Leeds (Sunday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT
For Newcastle, Matt Ritchie and summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin are both out.
Ritchie is making rapid progress from an ankle injury but won’t be back until next month, while Saint-Maximin is battling a hamstring problem.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce is also unable to call upon Florian Lejeune, Dwight Gayle and former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll, although DeAndre Yedlin is back in training.
Bruce is expected to name the same side which drew 1-1 with Watford before the international break, with Emile Krafth and Isaac Hayden preferred over former Liverpool players Javier Manquillo and Jonjo Shelvey respectively.
Bruce will want to try and leave his wing-backs as wide as possible, preventing the attacking Liverpool full-backs of Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson from creating chances down their respective flanks, and so is likely to field a back five again.
Joelinton will be looking to add to the goal he scored against Tottenham with another this weekend as he is expected to play as a lone striker once again.
Miguel Almiron will not return to Newcastle until late in the week from international duty but is still expected to start.
Predicted Newcastle line-up
- Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 23 Premier League home games against Newcastle (W19 D4), scoring in every single one of those matches (58 goals), while keeping 12 clean sheets.
- Newcastle were the second side to defeat Klopp’s Liverpool in the Premier League in December 2015. Since then they’ve drawn two and lost three of their top-flight meetings with the Reds.
- Liverpool have scored 98 Premier League goals against Newcastle – they could become the third team to score 100+ against a single opponent in the competition, and first to do so against a side who hasn’t been ever-present (Arsenal 107 v Everton, Manchester United 100 v Everton).
- Only against Manchester United between 1973 and 2012 (29 games) have Newcastle had a longer winless run away from home in the top-flight than their current run of 23 games without a win against Liverpool.
- Liverpool are looking to become the fourth team to win 14 consecutive English top-flight matches, after Arsenal (14, August 2002), Man City (15, August 2019) and Man City again (18, December 2017). The Reds could become the first team to win 14 in a row while scoring more than one goal each time.
- Newcastle have won three of their last five Premier League away games (D1 L1), as many as they had in their previous 24 on the road (W3 D9 L12). They last won consecutive games away from home in January 2018.
- Liverpool are looking to win their opening five Premier League matches of a season for the second time in as many seasons, having done so in 2018-19 – the only two teams to do so previously in back-to-back seasons are Chelsea (2009-10/2010-11) and Man City (2015-16/2016-17).
- Sadio Mané has played 50 Premier League matches at Anfield without losing – 49 with Liverpool, one with Southampton (W40 D10 L0) – more than any other player has played on a ground without ending on the losing side in Premier League history.
- Bruce has lost just four of his last 17 Premier League meetings with Liverpool (W5 D8 L4), winning his most recent game against the Reds in April 2015 with Hull City.
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