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Premier League

  • 30 December 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Anfield, Liverpool
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 44372
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FT
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Liverpool – Newcastle United Preview: Magpies bidding to end 17-year winless streak at Anfield

Liverpool – Newcastle United Preview: Magpies bidding to end 17-year winless streak at Anfield

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With both sides desperate for a win and only a point separating them, all eyes will be on former Geordie favourite Andy Carroll as he faces his old club once again


PROBABLE LINEUPS

LIVERPOOL

Reina
Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique
Maxi, Gerrard, Adam, Downing
Kuyt, Carroll
NEWCASTLE UNITED

Krul
Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, R Taylor
Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
Best, Ba
Club captain Steven Gerrard made his first appearance since October as a substitute in the Boxing Day draw with Blackburn. The Reds will be hoping their midfield talisman will be fit enough to start the match with Newcastle, particularly since he has netted six times in his career against the Magpies.

The hosts are without Luis Suarez, however, after the player was issued with a one-match ban following an improper conduct charge after the match with Fulham earlier this month. As such, all eyes will be on former Newcastle favourite Andy Carroll, who has yet to make a significant impact since joining the Reds for £35 million almost a year ago.

There are no new injury concerns for the Magpies, so they are expected to start with a similar side to that which beat Bolton Wanderers on Boxing Day. Hatem Ben Arfa will be hoping to get the nod in midfield, after scoring as a substitute at the Reebok last time out.

Alan Pardew’s men are boosted by the return of Danny Guthrie from suspension, so he could feature at Anfield at some stage, but Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux and Peter Lovenkrands are all still sidelined through injury.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Liverpool have won the last three home meetings with the Magpies 3-0, the latest back in May of this year.
  • The Reds will be hoping to have Steven Gerrard return to the starting XI, as he has managed six goals against the Tyneside club.
  • They have the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League, but have conceded in 78 per cent of their home matches and have drawn the last four.
  • Former Geordie favourite Andy Carroll (pictured right) has found the net just twice in 16 games for Liverpool.
  • Newcastle have not managed a league win at Anfield since 1994.
  • Demba Ba has managed 14 goals in 17 appearances for Newcastle this season.
  • They have scored and conceded more goals in the final 10 minutes of games this season than at any other point in a match.
  • The Magpies have won every league match this season in which they have scored first.
  • Both sides go into the game desperate for three points, as the home side have won only two of their last six matches while the visitors have won just once in that time.
  • There have been 61 yellow cards in the previous Premier League meetings between the sides, but never a sending off.
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Players to watch

A. Carroll

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
With Suarez banned, the attention – and goal-scoring responsibility – will once again shift to Liverpool’s No.9. He became the most expensive British player in history when he quit St James’ Park for Anfield last January for £35m, but has shown only flashes of the talent which saw Dalglish break the bank for his services.

His strength and prowess in the air will make him a useful foil for Dirk Kuyt alongside him, and if Gerrard returns to the side, the service from the captain and Charlie Adam in midfield could give Carroll the opportunities he needs to net against his former employers and kick start a run of form.

D. Ba

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
In contrast to Carroll, Ba has been in electric form since joining on a free transfer earlier this year as a replacement for the England international. With 14 goals in 17 appearances, he is fast becoming a fans’ favourite at the club, and could be the key to unlocking one of the most miserly defences in the league on Friday night.

The concern will be if Ba is unable to add to his impressive haul for the season, as Leon Best has netted just three times so far this campaign. As such, there is big pressure on the shoulders of both sides’ target men ahead of the Anfield clash.

Editor's Prediction

This is rarely a fixture which disappoints in the Premier League. With the teams only separated by a point in the table going into Friday’s encounter, this particular clash should be no different, as both sides will be looking to grab a win which could keep them in contention with the top four.

After Liverpool were frustrated by Blackburn on Boxing Day, they will be desperate to return to winning ways, and will look to Carroll to and the returning Gerrard to inspire the side in the absence of Suarez. But with Newcastle back to winning ways after their defeat of Bolton at the Reebok, this could be a tough challenge for Dalglish’s men.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Liverpool

Newcastle United

Wins
3
1
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Liverpool FC LIV
Liverpool FC Liverpool
Draw
Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
78%

Top 3 Predictions

Liverpool FC LIV
9 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW
Liverpool FC LIV
2 - 0
Newcastle United FC NEW
Liverpool FC LIV
2 - 1
Newcastle United FC NEW

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