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Preview: Liverpool vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups
16/12/2021 10:42:14

Liverpool will be out to make it eight wins in a row across all competitions when they welcome Newcastle United to Anfield on Thursday night.

The Reds prevailed 1-0 against Aston Villa last time out, while Eddie Howe's men went down 4-0 to Leicester City.

We say: Liverpool 3-0 Newcastle United

Even with a heavy defensive presence on the field, Newcastle should be outfought and outclassed by Klopp's rampant Liverpool on the Anfield turf.

The hosts will likely call upon some of their fringe players amid the hectic winter schedule but should have no trouble piling more misery on the Magpies in midweek.

Match preview

Thwarted time and time again by the inspired Emiliano Martinez, it seemed destined to be one of those days for Liverpool against Aston Villa, but the irrepressible Mohamed Salah was handed the chance to win the day from 12 yards after Tyrone Mings's foul.

Despite some mind games from the ex-Arsenal stopper, Salah confidently dispatched a penalty that no goalkeeper could have saved to hand Liverpool a fifth top-flight win on the bounce, and a seventh on the trot in all competitions.

With Chelsea and Manchester City both also prevailing by one-goal margins at the weekend, there is little change in the title conversation, with the Reds still second in the rankings - one point behind leaders City and one clear of Chelsea after 16 games.

Jurgen Klopp's men may have seen their astonishing two-goals-per-game streak ended in recent weeks, but only Chelsea (21) can boast more Premier League goals at home than the Reds (19) this season, and Liverpool have won each of their last five at Anfield.

This week's hosts have also kept five clean sheets in that stretch and extended their Anfield unbeaten run to 20 matches with the 1-0 win at Villa, so Newcastle will surely not be harbouring hopes of a memorable win on the Merseyside turf.

Even with numerous players out due to injury and a COVID-19 cluster, Leicester were still too good for Eddie Howe's Newcastle at the King Power, as the Foxes put four unanswered goals past the Magpies in gameweek 16.

With Jamie Vardy warming the bench, Patson Daka and James Maddison both helped themselves to a goal and an assist apiece, while Youri Tielemans bagged a brace to condemn Newcastle to a fifth defeat from eight on the road in the league.

Having been brought crashing back down to earth after their win against Burnley, Newcastle remain level on points with basement side Norwich in the relegation zone, and they are one point adrift of 18th-placed Burnley having played a game more.

With only three points taken from a possible 24 on the road this term, Newcastle's away form is the worst in the 2021-22 Premier League, and they have only managed to find the back of the net five times on rival turf all season.

Newcastle did claim a respectable 1-1 draw at Anfield last term thanks to the heroics of Joe Willock, but not since the 1993-94 season have the Magpies won away to Liverpool in the Premier League.

Team News

Liverpool trio Nat Phillips, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott remain out of action, but there is hope that Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino - who has now returned to training - may both be involved in some capacity.

Even if Firmino is not deemed ready to return from his hamstring problem just yet, Diogo Jota will expect to earn a recall up top as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drops down to the bench.

Klopp will certainly consider changes before a meeting with Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, with Naby Keita, Kostas Tsimikas and Ibrahima Konate all potentially starting on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Newcastle did not pick up any fresh injury concerns in the defeat to Leicester, meaning that Paul Dummett is Howe's only absentee with his calf problem.

Howe should therefore make a few alterations with a near fully-fit squad ahead of meetings with both Manchester clubs, potentially starting with Miguel Almiron being sacrificed in order to welcome Ciaran Clark back from suspension to a five-man defence.

Isaac Hayden is also ready to beef up the midfield if necessary, but Willock has fond memories of playing at Anfield and will not want to lose his place here.

Liverpool possible starting lineup:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas; Keita, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Jota, Mane

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:

Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Clark, Lascelles, Lewis; Saint-Maximin, Hayden, Shelvey, Joelinton; Wilson

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