After the season’s first international break, table-topping Liverpool will be looking to get a steal on their title-chasing rivals by picking up all three points from Saturday’s lunch-time kickoff against Newcastle United at Anfield.
While it’s been a break from domestic action, many of the two teams’ stars will have been on international duty, leaving Jurgen Klopp and Steve Bruce both hoping that their players return unscathed.
- Game: Liverpool v Newcastle United
- Venue: Anfield
- Kick-off: Saturday 14th September @ 12.30pm
Liverpool have picked up pretty much where they left off last season, with their four straight wins leaving them with the last remaining 100% record in the Premier League.
Home wins over Norwich City (4-1) and Arsenal (3-1) sandwiched a 2-1 success at Southampton, while they went into the international break in great shape following their convincing 3-0 victory at Burnley two weeks ago.
Bruce’s doubters were soon in full voice after Newcastle kicked off their campaign with a disappointing home defeat to Arsenal, followed by a more worrying 3-1 surrender at newly-promoted Norwich City.
However, just as the knives were being sharpened, the Magpies produced the season’s first Big Six shock when they bagged an early goal, and then frustrated Spurs to leave Tottenham Stadium with all three points.
They did not quite kick on from there as they might have hoped, but nevertheless, their subsequent 1-1 draw with struggling Watford has eased them into the mid-table pack for the time being.
Sports Betting Odds
Unsurprisingly, Liverpool are odds-on favourites and there seems little value in backing them to win when 4/25 with Unibet is the best price available at the bookies.
Conversely, the prospect of a Newcastle win makes their 21/1 price with BetVictor more likely to attract the casual punter than a serious bettor, while it would take a heroic effort from the Magpies to make it worthwhile investing in the 8/1 that Betfair is offering on the draw.
Better value might be available in the handicap and goals markets with Liverpool -2.5AH (6/5 with Betfred) and Over 3.5 goals (around even money with most bookies) showing where the middle line is drawn.
Team Facts & Analysis
Those old enough to remember Newcastle’s Kevin Keegan era will have fond memories of this fixture producing consecutive 4-3 Liverpool wins back in the 90’s. But sadly for Newcastle, their last win at Anfield pre-dates even those two epic games.
Liverpool’s impressive start to the campaign has extended their number of consecutive top-flight wins to thirteen since their goalless draw in the Merseyside derby in early March. Their home record is almost as impressive, with the Anfield faithful seeing 42 unbeaten league games (W32, D10) since the Reds lost 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace back in April 2017.
Liverpool are still getting used to life without the injured Alisson in goal, so replacement Adrian will have been as pleased as his manager by Liverpool’s first clean sheet at Burnley last time out.
Joel Matip seems to have emerged as Klopp’s preferred choice to partner the ever reliable Virgil van Dijk in defence, but as ever, it is in front of the back line that Liverpool are at their most impressive, where their high-tempo pressing game has produced at least two goals in each of those thirteen straight league wins.
Those victories have produced 37 goals, with forward trio Salah (8), Mane (10) and Firmino (5) contributing 23 of them, and all three have already scored more than a goal apiece this season.
Unlike Liverpool, Newcastle United can boast no such goal stats, although they might gain some hope from the fact that three of their four wins in their last nine Premier League games have come on their travels, winning at Leicester (1-0) and Fulham (4-0) at the end of last season before that 1-0 success at Spurs three weeks ago.
Indeed Steve Bruce had no luxuries up front when he arrived at Newcastle to find that strike partners Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon had left for Leicester and China respectively. To put their departure into context, since the turn of the year, Newcastle have found the net just 30 times in 22 league games, with Perez (10) and Rondon (6) contributing more than half of them.
The remaining 14 goals have been shared between eight players, and it is perhaps indicative of the Magpies’ issues in the final third that defender Fabian Schar has scored five of them, mainly from set pieces. It remains to be seen whether the signing of the perennially injured Andy Carroll was a panic buy — but at least Brazillian import, Joelinton, broke his duck with that crucial winner at Tottenham.
Newcastle have not emerged from Liverpool with all three points in 22 attempts (D3, L19) and were soundly beaten 4-0 there last season, and also lost the return 3-2 at St James’s Park as well.