Focus Fixture: Can Newcastle turn their form around against Liverpool

29 December 2023

We look ahead to the first Premier League game of 2024, as Liverpool welcome Newcastle United to Anfield on Monday night.

The Form 

Liverpool head into this game on a 12-match unbeaten run in the Premier League. After back-to-back home draws with Manchester United and Arsenal, the Reds returned to winning ways with a 2-0 triumph over Burnley on Boxing Day.

Jurgen Klopp’s team have not lost a domestic match at Anfield since October 2022, while only Aston Villa have a better points-per-home-game record this season.

Newcastle, conversely, are struggling. Eddie Howe’s side have won one and lost five of their last seven outings in all competitions. Meanwhile only Sheffield United have collected fewer points on the road in 2023/24. 

The Runners and Riders

This will be Mohamed Salah’s final Premier League appearance before he jets off to the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations. Diogo Jota could return to the starting XI after scoring off the bench against Burnley, although Klopp will not want to take any risks with his fitness. 

Elsewhere, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Alexis Mac Allister, Konstantinos Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are sidelined through injury.

Newcastle will have to make do without Nick Pope, Sandro Tonali, Jacob Murphy, Joe Willock, Harvey Barnes, Elliot Anderson, Jamaal Lascelles, Matt Targett and Javi Manquillo.

What They Said

 “Honestly, I don’t think I ever praised Newcastle before, but I saw them playing last night and I was really impressed,” Klopp said after the Magpies’ 1-0 victory over Manchester United earlier this month.

 “It was a commercial for pressing, counter-pressing and direct football - a really good football show.”

“I’ll be prepared to make any change that I think can benefit either the performance or the result and of course, players are accountable for what they deliver,” Howe said after the defeat by Nottingham Forest last time out.

“No amount of credit in the bank is big enough, you have to earn everything you get from the game.”

Bet Builder Tip

Liverpool will fancy their chances of kicking off the new year with a win. They were imperious at Anfield in 2023 and are facing a team that has been poor in recent weeks, especially away from home.

Newcastle have been hamstrung by injuries for much of the campaign, while this squad has also had to deal with European football for the first time. Howe’s side have looked physically and mentally jaded of late, so Liverpool will aim to start quickly on Monday night.

It is hard to see this being a low-scoring affair, so round off your bet-builder by tipping three goals or more on Merseyside. 

Recommended Bet

 Liverpool to win, Liverpool ahead at half-time and over 2.5 goals at 2.44

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