The Reds are on a roll, while Rafa Benitez's club could use a break in the race for Premier League survival.

By 90Min
March 02, 2018

High-flying Liverpool welcome Newcastle to Anfield on Saturday evening, with Jurgen Klopp's men looking to continue their recent hot streak.

The Reds have been in blistering goalscoring touch of late, and dispatched another four past a helpless West Ham side last weekend.

Klopp will have one eye on Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tie against FC Porto, though the German boss is expected to field a strong side on Saturday with the Reds holding a healthy 5-0 advantage against their Portuguese adversaries.

Rafa Benitez returns to his former side desperately looking to earn points in the race for Premier League survival.

His Newcastle side surrendered a two-goal lead at Bournemouth last weekend, conceding twice inside the last ten minutes, with Benitez admitting in his post-match interview after the game that his side had "lost control" and "lost two points."

The Magpies have won only once in their last five Premier League outings, and will have the odds stacked against them once more, traveling to face a side who have scored over 100 goals in all competitions this campaign.

Classic Encounter

These two teams have played out numerous classics over the years, with Liverpool coming out on top more often than not.

One encounter that will go down in the annuls of Premier League history came amidst Newcastle's dramatic title collapse at the conclusion of the 1995/1996 season, with Liverpool running out 4-3 winners.

The Magpies had been in scintillating goalscoring form throughout the campaign, and though this facet of their game would also shine brightly in this game, their defensive frailties were ruthlessly exposed by an in-form Reds side.

The home side took an early lead through Robbie Fowler, before the Toon hit back with two quick goals from Les Ferdinand and David Ginola.

Kevin Keegan's entertainers weren't about to shore up their defense though, and saw their lead evaporate with Fowler's second ten minutes into the second half. Stan Collymore added Liverpool's third with just over twenty minutes to go, only for Colombian substitute Faustino Asprilla to slide the ball past an onrushing David James to level the scores once more.

Both sides had opportunities to win it, though it would be the hosts who would ultimately prevail, as Collymore collected John Barnes' square pass to fire past Pavel Srnicek at his near post, sending Anfield into delirium in a scene that will be forever remembered for Keegan slouching over the advertising hoardings in the dugout.

Key Battles

Mohamed Salah vs Jamaal Lascelles

The form of Mohamed Salah has been nothing short of remarkable, with the Egyptian sensation's goalscoring form seemingly never ending. With 23 Premier League goals and 10 assists already to his name, Salah is comfortably favorite to claim a host of end of season awards even before the season reaches the business end of proceedings.

Tasked with stopping Liverpool's unstoppable force will likely be Jamaal Lascelles. The former Nottingham Forest center back has been in good form this season, impressing a variety of pundits and supporters with a run of consistent performances in defense.

He is likely to face one of his toughest assignments of the season in taming Salah, with the 25-year old failing to score in only 10 of Liverpool's 28 games so far this season.

Joel Matip vs Dwight Gayle

Newcastle's main goalscoring threat is likely to be provided by Dwight Gayle, with the 28-year old having scored twice last weekend against Bournemouth.

He has five goals to his name so far this season, and his recent exploits are likely to see him lead the Newcastle line again on Saturday. Should he do so, experienced defender Joel Matip could be tasked by Jurgen Klopp with keeping a close eye on the pacey striker.

Team News

The Reds have no fresh injury concerns to contend with, though Jurgen Klopp may opt to rotate a couple of players with Tuesday's clash against FC Porto in mind.

His devastating front trio of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are likely to be thrust into action once more, with the trio largely responsible for Liverpool already achieving over 100 goals in all competitions.

Trent Alexander-Arnold could make way at right-back for Joe Gomez, with Adam Lallana pushing for a first league start since his recovery from injury.

Newcastle meanwhile are missing loanee Islam Slimani, who is yet to make an appearance for the Magpies since joining from Leicester on deadline day.

Aside from the Algerian international's absence, boss Rafa Benitez has close to a full-strength team to choose from, with rotation only likely due to any lingering fitness concerns.

Potential Liverpool Lineup: Karius, Gomez, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson, Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Mane, Firmino

Potential Newcastle Lineup: Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Atsu, Perez, Gayle


The Reds are in great form, with confidence sure to be running high at Anfield after a number of impressive recent performances.

Unbeaten at home so far this season, it would seem unlikely that Rafa Benitez's side will take away maximum points, with the performance of the season needed from his Newcastle side in order to make that happen.

Newcastle's defensive frailties will be exposed to one of the sternest tests the Premier League has to offer, with Liverpool's dominant attacking play likely to take hold of the match early on. It's hard to look past another comprehensive home win.

Prediction: Liverpool 4-1 Newcastle

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