Eddie Howe and Jurgen Klopp will come face-to-face, with their army of men looking to battle it out at Anfield in what looks like an exciting setup. Liverpool and Newcastle United lock-horns for the first time this season, and unlike any of their past match-ups this one is looking more feisty only for the reason that Newcastle have gone in and bought several new players to boost up the squad. As a matter of fact, Manchester City have dropped points only once in 4 games this season, which was at the hands of the Magpies.
On the other hand, the Reds have had their worst start under Jurgen Klopp in 7 years. 5 points in 4 games are well below the standards that Liverpool have set for themselves in the last 4-5 years. However, just because their bars/standards are set high it does not mean that they are also deserving to be at a higher position than where they are right now in the PL table.
There is a long way to go, true! But a level of consistency and intent should be shown on the pitch because the same set of players were competing for the quadruple last season, so they need to just come out and play the beautiful game with full freedom while expressing themselves. Likewise in the last game, when the Reds brutally thrashed the newly promoted Cherries for a record 9-0 victory- it was a statement victory more than anything, especially after the loss against United but all’s well that ends well and the Kopites can hope now that their team is back on track with such a compelling performance.
When & Where?
Day & Date: Wednesday, 31st August 2022.
Time: 8 pm BST.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Assistants: Eddie Smart, Mark Scholes.
Fourth official: Andy Madley.
Liverpool’s injury woes continue as the fixtures keep on coming, Jurgen Klopp is still without Thiago, Naby Keita, Oxlade Chamberlain, and Curtis Jones in the midfield. Leaving the onus to Henderson, Milner, Fabinho, Elliott, and Fabio Carvalho- the latter 2 have been class beyond belief.
However, whilst the team is also missing Matip, Konate, the new boy Calvin Ramsay and Diogo Jota, the last thing the Reds wanted to hear was a suspension! And Darwin Nunez just made it even worse for his new team when he picked up a 3-match-ban for head-butting Andersen, in the clash against Palace.
This means that the striker will not be back in contention before the Merseyside Derby. Leaving Klopp very less options to rotate his squad with ahead of the Newcastle clash, and given the recent 9-0 victory it would be the most obvious decision that the German goes with the same squad.
On the other hand, the Magpies’ highly rated trio of Callum Wilson, Bruno Guimaraes, and Allan Saint-Maximin is in doubt to feature against Liverpool. While the newly bought, record-signing, Isak is surely in-line to make the debut for his new club.
Adding to it, Newcastle might also miss the experience of Jonjo Shelvey as he remains out alongside Emil Krafth as well. This only means that for Eddie Howe and co. the problems are in abundance as a lot of first-team players remain out of contention for a place in the squad.
2 draws and a defeat in the first 3 games of the new season for Liverpool, had got the whole world calling out the German manager’s tactics and also a curse or a coincidence that goes by him. So some research and data showed that “Jurgen Klopp left Mainz in the 7th season incharge when they got relegated and he could not get them back up. Dortmund finished 7th in the German’s 7th season incharge and he left, and now this is his 7th season at Liverpool where the club has had the worst start to a season under him.”
This particular piece of information brought the whole Liverpool fanbase to a standstill and some even started to believe that the curse is true. I cannot say if it is a curse or not, but one thing is for certain this Liverpool side just looked way tired and way underconfident. But a massive victory on the home turf, in the last game against Bournemouth, should be seen as a morale booster of sorts because there are a lot of positives to take from the performance.
It is clear that the Reds need a midfielder, and now even Jurgen Klopp has also confirmed that they are on the lookout for the same. But until that new player has been bought, the Reds are expected to play as they did against Bournemouth. I mean the club has been hit by unexpected injuries before the start of the new season, but it is part and parcel of the game and using it as an excuse to escape from the potential race to win the silverware is also not good for a club of Liverpool’s stature.
So a victory against this Newcastle side on Wednesday would only be seen in the light of progression after they finally got underway with a victory this season in the last game. But it is not as easy as it seems! The Magpies are a Dark Horse this season, and rightly so, as they just keep on unveiling new signings and good ones as well… Although there are a lot of first-team injuries to worry the away camp with, ahead of Wednesday’s clash, still this Newcastle side has got enough players to run riot at Anfield if Liverpool fails to maintain focus and consistency throughout.
No doubt Howe will look to work on these low moments to hit the in-form Reds. The English Gaffer will surely look to exploit the defensive Highline of his counterpart German’s Liverpool. As in recent times, the backline has been exposed a lot of times- even in the game against Bournemouth, the Cherries had a couple of chances that they were not able to convert. Another boost of confidence could also be the fact that Newcastle are yet to lose a game this season, having won a game and drawn the other 3 in the first 4 games of the season.
Overall this could be a huge battle between these 2 sides as Newcastle and Liverpool both try to get back in the top of the pile- the latter especially, after having fallen way down the pecking order earlier on.
The Colombian is proving to be a serious difference maker for Klopp’s Liverpool this season. After Mane’s departure, the onus was up to Diaz to deliver. And boy has he delivered! In the first 4 league games, the sensational winger has already got 3 goals to his name and hunger is imminent in his eyes- the hunger to set high goal-scoring standards. This is his debut full Premier League campaign by the way, and he is enjoying every single minute of it and Jurgen Klopp will hope he keeps on doing what he has been doing. Alongside Bobby Firmino, the Columbian x Brazilian combo is saucing up the Reds up front bringing in their South American Sauce!
Eddie Howe’s hope could rely upon Joelinton on Wednesday, as the Brazilian has looked the best version of himself under the English gaffer so far. The huge figure of Joelinton not only gives him the advantage over other midfielders, but it also helps him to win those key 1 v 1 aerial duels in the midfield which has proven very vital in the past. Now, when the team is lacking a lot of first-team players from the squad ahead of the trip to the Merseyside, Joelinton will surely be the player to look out for as his team will try and stop a Liverpool side buzzing with confidence.
Liverpool predicted XI vs Newcastle: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Elliott, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, Diaz.
Newcastle predicted XI vs Liverpool: Pope; Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn; Willock, S Longstaff, Joelinton; Almiron, Wood, Fraser.