Liverpool v Newcastle United: LFC prepare to face Benitez’s new side

Premier League
Saturday 23 April 2016 - 3:00 pm
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Rafael Benitez returns to Anfield this weekend with his new side Newcastle United.

Rafa has taken over the Toon until the end of the season with the possibility of a longer deal, if he wants it and if they stay up.

Rafa Benitez end of 2009-10 season

The Geordies have picked up 4 points from their last two games signalling the intention of some fight as they attempt to overhaul Norwich who currently lie in 17th position - safety.

Liverpool are in a fine spell of form, Dortmund, Stoke and Everton have been the last three visitors at Anfield.  Each time their goalkeepers have retrieved the ball out of their net four times.

The midweek experience against Everton ended up turning into a training run out so Klopp may be able to pick from more players than perhaps he had suspected.  One man who will be out will be Divock Origi who suffered ankle ligament damage during Funes Mori's red card challenge.

Newcastle will sense an opportunity despite Liverpool's run of fine form because the reds have more than one eye locked on to Thursday's match in Spain.  The reds take on Villarreal in the 1st Leg of the Europa League semi-final - and it is that competition which looks the reds best hope of Champions League football next season.

Liverpool's good form has been impressive, but they look to have left it too late to push into the top four.

Liverpool are 7 points (and really 8 points when you can include goal difference) behind Man City with only one game in hand.  Liverpool would need a unexpected perfect finish to the season of 5 more wins and require City to drop 5 points from their last 4 games.

The added complication of mid-week European games for the reds is likely to hamper any Premier League challenge.


Liverpool unexpectedly lost the reverse fixture at St James Park in December - getting beat 2-0 in a rare Newcastle win.  The reds also lost the season before at St James Park.

At Anfield however the reds have been fairly dominant.

Liverpool have won 10 of the last 11 meetings at Anfield - drawing the other.

In fact you have to go back 21 years for the last time Newcastle won at Anfield - a League Cup game.

Rafa Benitez has a flawless record (so far) in this game.  He has been the winning manager in all 6 games at Anfield between Liverpool and Newcastle United.


It is Benitez's second return to Anfield since he left.  He came here with Chelsea and the teams played out a 2-2 draw. The game perhaps more remembered for Suarez getting hungry at the sight of Ivanovic.

Newcastle haven't picked up a point away since the turn of this year - having lost their last 9 games on the road.

Fabricio Coloccini and Daryl Janmaat are out injured for Newcastle.


As well as Origi out injured, the reds also have Benteke and Skrtel unlikely to recover in time.  Henderson and Emre Can are the other main longer term injuries for the reds.

Klopp fielded a very inexperienced side last weekend following a tough midweek game so we could see another host of changes.  Ojo, Stewart, Smith and Randall are four players who could come in for a Premier League game at Anfield.

Liverpool v Newcastle kicks off at the (nowadays unusual) time of 3pm on a Saturday!


We are expecting changes to the line up with Villarreal being a priority.  The recent goalfest has to end sometime so we are going for Liverpool 2-0.  Sorry Rafa.


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