Liverpool FC welcome Newcastle United to Anfield this weekend following the controversial manner of their draw against Everton a week ago.
The Reds will also hope to recover from a fairly disappointing week which has comprised of the loss of the two points and the additional blow of being knocked out of the Capital One cup at the hands of Rodgers’ ex-club Swansea City.
A Short Introduction
10th placed Newcastle against 13th placed Liverpool FC. A mid-table scramble for points that pits two teams that should be fighting for the European places this season.
Liverpool’s injury list is piling up at the moments, as Flanagan and Glen Johnson are both doubtful ahead of this tie, making it likely for Jose Enrique to make a start in this match. Apart from missing Glen Johnson, the teams should remain fairly similar to the one that started against Merseyside rivals Everton.
A likely switch in the team might come in the form of Shelvey instead of Sahin, as following a disappointing display against Everton, Sahin’s spot in the first team is under scrutiny. However, he will be helped by Shelvey producing an unimpressive showing in the Carling Cup in the mid-week.
Liverpool will be helped by Newcastle’s current injury and suspension woes. The Magpies have Vuckic, Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling (yes, the one who used to play for Everton), Robert Elliot and Cheik Tiote all out injured. Additionally, they have talismanic striker Demba Ba doubtful for this clash.
Protecting the Lead
Interestingly, Newcastle have been very strong at trying to protect the lead. By stark contrast, Liverpool have been terrible at that. Ideally, Liverpool need to try and prevent Newcastle from taking the lead and take the lead themselves.
According to WhoScored, Newcastle have been especially strong at creating chances through the use of through balls and long shots. That will be something that will definitely need to be watched by Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel.
Additionally, they’re weak at defending the wings. This should really be a field day for Raheem Sterling and Suso/Assaidi/Downing, as Liverpool will really need to try and exploit the wings if they are to win the 3 points against Newcastle United.