The club managed an impressive 2-0 win against Manchester City in the League Cup on Wednesday. And victories against Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspurs in the last two league games have Newcastle out of the relegation zone. A win against Liverpool on Saturday could see them move up to as high as ninth in the table.
They will be facing a Liverpool side that has yet to really replicate their best form this season. The Reds were held to a scoreless draw at Anfield last weekend. But they did manage to beat Swansea City 2-1 mid-week in the League Cup.
Injuries and Suspensions
Newcastle finally appear to be getting healthy. Ryan Taylor made his return this week against Manchester City after more than two years on the sidelines because of a knee injury. Highly rated attacker Rolando Aarons also made his return to the line-up on Wednesday, scoring Newcastle’s opening goal.
Sammy Ameobi made his return last weekend after missing a few matches as well. And it was a match to remember. He scored a memorable goal only seconds after coming on at half-time. Emmanuel Rivière also made his return on Wednesday as a second-half substitute.
Papiss Cisse has missed the last two matches for the club due to a knee injury. He remains a doubt for Saturday. Cheick Tiote is still battling a calf injury and his status is uncertain. While Davide Santon (Knee), Siem de Jong (thigh) and Jonás Gutiérrez (Cancer) are all out long-term.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been without first-choice striker Daniel Sturridge for several weeks because of calf and thigh injuries. He will be unavailable for Saturday. French international defender Mamadou Sakho will be out longer with a thigh muscle strain.
Alan Pardew will almost certainly go with his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday against Liverpool. However, his starting line-up is far from decided because of injuries to key players. If fully healthy, Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote should play some role on Saturday.
Ayoze Pérez made his first start at centre-forward against Tottenham and delivered in a big way by scoring the second goal. Pardew suddenly has several good options in attack with Rivière and Aarons healthy once again. Rémy Caballa and Gabriel Oberton have also produced some positive performances recently.
Brendan Rodgers has experimented with several different formations this season. The Reds are yet to discover their consistency and this has forced Rodgers to change his line-up at times. Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling have provided much of the attacking impetus this season for the club. However, Liverpool has lacked that final touch at times.
Liverpool has only one league goal from a striker this season and that was from Daniel Sturridge who is currently out injured. Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert have yet to score in the league this season. Although, the Italian scored mid-week against Swansea.
Liverpool has had the advantage over Newcastle in recent encounters. Newcastle have only beaten their visitors once in their last seven contests. That includes an embarrassing 6-0 defeat at home in April 2013. A match that Luis Suárez was suspended for.
The Magpies have an unenviable record at home in recent times, having won just twice in their last eight league encounters. But this appears to be an improving Newcastle squad. With their big League Cup win against Manchester City, the club has only one defeat in their last seven matches in all competitions. That includes three straight victories.
Newcastle had a very positive display against the defending Premier League Champions this week and are in good form. Liverpool have looked vulnerable at the back and timid in front of goal at times this season. The Magpies will continue their good form with another victory over the Reds on Saturday.
Newcastle United 2 – 1 Liverpool