3rd November 2012
A tumultuous week that included a draw in Merseyside derby and Capitol One Cup exit is behind Liverpool, making this a very important game for the Reds. Newcastle continued to climb the overall standings thanks to the last-gasp victory over West Brom, and the Magpies will fancy their chances of getting something from Anfield.
Extremely thin squad is proving to be a major issue for Liverpool this season, and Brendan Rodgers probably cannot wait for the transfer window to reopen in January. The talented manager is so far doing well with the squad he has at his disposal, but Capitol One Cup exit at the hands of Swansea will probably prove to be a blessing in disguise. The only problem is that the home defeat to Rodgers’ former club has somewhat spoiled the good atmosphere in the side that had been created thanks to the string of very good showings. Liverpool did well to build on back to back wins over Reading and Anzhi as they earned a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park, although the Reds will regret squandering a two-goal lead as well as Luis Suarez’s disallowed goal in the dying moments of the match. The Anfield outfit now turn to what could be a very difficult match against top 4 rivals Newcastle, with a number of first team regulars returning to the starting line-up. Pepe Reina and Glen Johnson, however, continue to miss out.
Newcastle United are using this season to show everyone they are not a one-season wonder, and they are doing well to prove the doubters wrong. The Magpies may be sitting in 10th place at the moment, but their showings are not that much different from those that saw them achieve a fifth-place finish last season. Numerous injuries to star players have destabilized the team during the early exchanges, but as time goes by, Newcastle are showing more and more consistency. The impressive showing in the Wear-Tyne derby seems to have served as a major boost for Alan Pardew’s side as they went on to record back to back victories over Club Brugge and West Brom. Having not been in action in midweek, the Magpies could have the extra edge over their opponents when the two sides meet at Anfield, so this will feel like a perfect opportunity to edge closer to their top 4 rivals. With top scorer Demba Ba expected to recover from a calf problem, Cheick Tiote is the only unavailable member of the starting line-up.
With both Liverpool and Newcastle searching for three points, there is every chance we will see an open game at Anfield. The Reds are showing a lot of improvement in the attacking department, but their back line will be severely weakened without Reina and Johnson, so they cannot be trusted to stop one of the best attacks in the league. Therefore, backing both teams to score looks the right thing to do.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 10/11
Bookmaker: William Hill