A dominant 6-1 performance over Southampton in the Capital One Cup makes it five straight wins for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool. They now face a Newcastle side who have only won one match in their last five. Given their recent form, this should be an easy victory for the Reds, they are an extremely confident side and they are playing much more positively.
Simon Mignolet should have an easy time since Newcastle has only scored two goals in their last five matches. His confidence should also be at an all time high since Klopp has shot down the rumors that he is looking for a new ‘keeper.
Nathaniel Clyne has been an extremely consistent player for the Reds this year and his recent form has led to him shutting down a few of the Premier League’s best wingers. Georginio Wijnaldum may be one of Newcastle’s best attackers but Clyne should be able to limit him.
With both Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho out with injury, Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren will continue to start together for Klopp. Even though Liverpool are playing very well and winning matches, Skrtel and Lovren need to work on keeping a clean sheet. They are still susceptible to aerial threats and they need to organize the defense better against set pieces.
Alberto Moreno has been playing very well in his last few matches and he continues to be a completely different player under his new manager. This Sunday, Moreno will have to focus more on the defensive side of the ball since he will likely be marking Moussa Sissoko, Newcastle’s leading assister.
Even if Emre Can is missing this match, the Liverpool midfield should still dominate with Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva and James Milner all possibly starting. Henderson has made two substitute appearances the last two matches but Klopp could finally give his captain the start.
Lucas remains the heart of the Liverpool midfield and he should be able to break up most of the Newcastle attacks. Milner’s relentless energy is always a welcome sight for Liverpool fans but he needs to improve if he wants to remain a starter once everyone is healthy. Joe Allen can also start if Henderson is not healthy enough.
With Philippe Coutinho unlikely to play, Roberto Firmino may finally get to play in his more natural no. 10 role. He is another player who has become much more confident under Klopp and his movement and creativity should terrorize the Newcastle defense.
We may finally get to see the true debut of the partnership of Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge this weekend. Sturridge got right back to scoring goals after an extended stay on the sidelines and he looked like his old self against Southampton.
He likely won’t play the full 90 minutes but there is a good chance he will already have a goal or two by the time he goes to the bench. Benteke may finally hit his stride now that he will have someone to distract the defense beside him. Both will need to work out the kinks of each other’s preferences on the pitch but the Newcastle defense is weak enough that they should have more than a few scoring chances.
Via – Lineup Builder