Match Preview: Newcastle vs Liverpool
Date & time: December 30th, 2020 - 8:00pm
Where: St. James' Park
Is it on: Amazon Prime Sport
Ref: Paul Tierney
A home draw to an awful West Brom side managed by the equally awful Sam Allardyce was no the festive bonus that Liverpool wanted.
But the best way to respond is to ensure we pick up all three points tonight away to Newcastle.
No wins in their last 4 means that confidence will be low, whilst the visit of the Champions to the North East will see Bruce under pressure; does he try for a result, or does he attempt to simply thwart the Reds in the way West Brom did on Sunday afternoon?
The job for Liverpool is much easier: win. After dropping 2 points on Sunday, no other result will be good enough, as the chasing pack are still hot on our heels after our recent runs of draws but another 3 points to close out 2020 would put us back firmly in the driving seat.
Injuries & Suspension
As on Sunday, things have improved slightly for Liverpool over the past 10 days but Jurgen has reiterated that Thiago is not going to be available for tonight's game.
The situation with the Spaniard is bordering on the farcical now, 6 months since he joined and about 35 minutes of football played. It's a strange one too, as it isn't really clear what has kept him out for so long but hopefully he's back soon.
Otherwise, Liverpool will be with Joel Matip who we're still not entirely sure of a return date for, as things stand. Van Dijk, Gomez and Keita are all absentees too.
For Newcastle the home side are likely to be missing Ryan Fraser and Jonjo Shelvey. Two fairly key players for the Newcastle side.
Last 5 games:
Newcastle (all comps): W-L-D-L-L
Liverpool (all comps): W-D-D-W-D
Predicted Line up
Although we've had only a few days to prepare, it's still a longer break than most of the other sides, and we don't play again now until next Monday so, again, we have a longer break than most.
For that reason, I don't see any reason to make too many changes from Sunday. Personally, I'd like to see Nat Phillips in, giving us a bit more experience and matching Matip's effectiveness in the air. As, in his absence, we will be lacking in that department.
I'd also rotate Bobby out for a game, giving Minamino a chance. We're going to have a hard run of games post-December and we can't just expect the likes of Takumi, Shaqiri, Origi to come in a do a job if they barely get any minutes and now is as good a time as any.
Predicted starting XI: Alisson, Robertson, Phillips, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner, Mane, Salah, Minamino.