October 30, 2014

No matter the competition, Liverpool continue to pile up the victories.

The same can't be said for Newcastle United.

Looking for a fifth consecutive win overall, visiting Liverpool return to Premier League play trying to hand the Magpies a third straight defeat Sunday.

While coach Jürgen Klopp wears his heart on his sleeve on the sidelines, he's more reserved when trying to express his satisfaction about Liverpool's remarkable play that's spanned more than a month. Whether it's the Premier League, Europa League or the League Cup, the Reds (6-5-3) have outscored their opponents 19-6 while winning seven of the last eight matches overall.

"Of course we feel good, the boys feel good," Klopp told the club's official website.

But Klopp won't read too much into anything.

"It's good, the lads feel good and that's very important because it gives them more confidence," he added. "But this league is too strong to dream, and we have to work."

Liverpool didn't seem like they worked too hard while trouncing Southampton 6-1 in the League Cup on Wednesday to reach the semifinals for a record 16th time. After returning from an almost two-month injury absence in last Sunday's 1-0 victory over Swansea City, Daniel Sturridge scored twice against the Saints.

The return of both Sturridge and midfielder Jordan Henderson from lengthy injury spells can't be overstated.

"It was good news for the big Liverpool family," Klopp said. "They are two very important players for us and they're back in the race. They did well for their situation and from where they've come from after a long break with difficult injuries.

"Now they are back and that's really good for us."

Still, Klopp wants to make sure his side knows that all opponents present a unique challenge. Even a Newcastle club that enters this Premier League weekend sandwiched between Bournemouth and Aston Villa in the relegation zone.

"If somebody in this room thinks it's an easy game against Newcastle ... it's really difficult to go there after two days' break or whatever and then play again," Klopp said. "It's hard work, nothing else."

Newcastle (2-4-8) were outscored 8-1 by Leicester City and Crystal Palace in the last two games after blanking Bournemouth and Stoke City in the previous two. Things might have bottomed out while the frustration continued to mount with last Saturday's 5-1 setback at Palace.

"That was not us, that is not Newcastle United," coach Steve McClaren told the club's official website. That is not what we expect, what the fans expect. That is not good enough.

"We are in a relegation fight. There is enough time (to stay up) and I think there is enough (quality) in that dressing room to do so. It is so, so disappointing."

The Magpies have scored two goals during a 1-1-3 stretch that followed their 6-2 thumping of Norwich City on Oct. 18.

"It's not right. We need to sort it out," McClaren said. "You're going to do that on the training field, within the group, and within the work, and we've got to come through together.

"It's about coming through adversity and bad times, getting stronger, showing character. And character, mental determination and fight - that's what you learn through adversity."

Already bothered by injuries, Newcastle took another blow Thursday when recently recalled midfielder Mike Williamson suffered a hamstring injury during training. Williamson had been loaned to Wolverhampton of the Championship.

Sturridge has six goals in his last six games against the Magpies.

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