Liverpool will be looking to bounce back after two disappointing defeats to relegation candidates QPR and Wigan. With the likes of Sunderland and Merseyside rivals Everton breathing on their necks in 8th and 9th place respectively Liverpool know that three points is the minimum they need to take from this game.
However, having said that, a trip to St James’ Park is no walk in the park and Alan Pardew’s team are in good form after picking up back to back wins against Norwich and West Brom. Newcastle have been the surprise package of the season and find themselves level on points with Chelsea and just 5 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.
Andy Carroll will be making an emotional return to his hometown to take on the team that he grew up supporting and eventually representing. This was until Liverpool paid the club record fee of £35 million to secure his signature in January 2011. Whether or not the striker will start the game remains to be seen and the reception that the Geordie will receive is also up in the air.
Last time these two met earlier this season Liverpool came away with all three points after a 3-1 victory at Anfield. A Daniel Agger own goal had given Newcastle the lead however the Magpies weren’t ahead for long with ex-Newcastle player Craig Bellamy equalising. The Welshman added a second before Steven Gerrard, returning from a long injury lay-off, secured all three points with a third.
With Charlie Adam apparently ruled out for the rest of the current campaign, Jonjo Shelvey has an opportunity to make his mark on the Premier League, however, you would expect Jay Spearing to continue to partner Steven Gerrard in the middle. It will also be interesting to see if young Raheem Sterling continues to be involved in the first-team and whether he gets a place on the bench just like he did against QPR. As for injuries, Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson continue to be sidelined while Craig Bellamy and Martin Kelly remain doubtful.
Liverpool should be a lot closer to Newcastle in the table but find themselves 8 points adrift of their North-East opponents. Sunday gives Kenny Dalglish and his team a chance to close that gap and if they have any ambitions to finish above where they currently sit, a victory against Newcastle is essential.
In what should be an exciting game, both teams will be looking for the win. An open game usually means goals and that is exactly what the neutrals will want to see. Newcastle need a win to keep up their European ambitions and Liverpool need a win to stop them sinking further down the table.
L4L Match Prediction – Newcastle 2-2 Liverpool
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