Alan Pardew's side have confounded their pre-season doubters and find themselves eight points ahead of the big-spending Reds, as Andy Carroll returns to the North-East
Simpson, Williamson, Perch, Santon
Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique
Henderson, Spearing, Gerrard, Downing
However, Alan Pardew will be without skipper Fabricio Coloccini, who could be out for up to a month after pulling up during the win over West Brom with a torn hamstring.
The home side will also be without longer-term absentees Peter Lovenkrands (thigh), Leon Best (knee), Steven Taylor (Achilles) and Sylvain Marveaux (groin).
Liverpool could welcome back a whole host of players for this fixture, with Daniel Agger (rib), Martin Kelly (ankle) and Glen Johnson (calf) all close to making their returns after missing last weekend’s game against Wigan.
Maxi Rodriguez will also travel with the squad after being laid low through illness recently, but ex-Newcastle forward Craig Bellamy could miss his fourth consecutive game with a persistent calf strain.
Charlie Adam looks certain to join the casualty list, too, with a knee injury, thought to be long-term and season-ending, although the club will have to wait a further two weeks until the diagnosis is complete.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Newcastle’s January transfer window acquisition Papiss Cisse (pictured right alonsgide strike partner Demba Ba) already has five league goals in his first six games.
- Cisse has needed just 17 shots to score his five goals so far, finding the net with an impressive 29 per cent of his shots. In contrast, Luis Suarez has required 81 shots for his seven goals so far, meaning that only 9% of his shots have ended up in the back of the net.
- Newcastle’s top league goalscorer is Demba Ba with 16, while Liverpool’s is Suarez with just seven.
- The last three meetings between these two sides have yielded a whopping 13 goals. Newcastle and Liverpool are 23/10 with Sportingbet to go over 3.5 goals in this match.
- This will be the first time that Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish, Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique take in an away game at Newcastle since ending their respective spells with the Magpies.
- Liverpool have only picked up eight points in the league since the turn of the calendar year. Only rock-bottom Wolves have picked up fewer with five.
- Liverpool have won six of their last seven Premier League outings against the Magpies, however.
- Dirk Kuyt boasts a record of five goals in his last seven starts against Newcastle, while Steven Gerrard has scored five times in his last five appearances against them.
- Kenny Dalglish’s side have lost five of their last six Premier League games, losing their last three away games on the trot.
- Liverpool’s league record in Carroll’s last six starts reads W3 D1 L2, whereas Suarez’s last six starts read W1 D0 L5.