Friday, December 10, 2010

Newcastle v. Liverpool Preview

by Charles Ong - Contributing Writer

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe

Newcastle v Liverpool
When: 11th December 2010, Saturday, 17:30 GMT
Where: St James' Park

Resurgent Liverpool travel next to St James' Park with renewed vigour and confidence on the back of 2 consecutive 3-0 home wins against West Ham and Aston Villa. Erratic away form have hampered the Reds' progress thus far this season, and the Reds will be looking to bounce back from a luckless 1-2 defeat against Spurs during their last away outing.

Such was the dominance in the previous game that Liverpool could afford to breathe easy just after 15 minutes. Villa were sub-par at best, the Reds never needed to step up a gear and the game was all but over before the hour mark.

Liverpool could continue furthering their ascent up their table, and the  crux of the matter is that 3 points is so essential to push for that  ever-elusive Champions League spot. As Liverpool enters the festive  period, there should be no let-up in terms of performance. Failure to  win again - would mean that the hard work against Villa would all be  undone.

Over at the other end, Newcastle's fans were rocked by the imminent sacking of manager Chris Hughton. Mike Ashley's decision is all the more bizarre as Newcastle sit pretty in mid-table, given that they were just newly promoted from the Championship this season. Hughton has done a magnificent job with his limited resources, and perhaps this is the perfect time to face a club shrouded with political instability.

Alan Pardew is expected to be named the new manager in the next 48 hours. He faces a mammoth task of improving Newcastle's fortunes of late, given they picked up just 2 points in the last 5 EPL games.

Fernando Torres would be refreshed and raring to go, having been given time off to witness the birth of his newborn baby. Steven Gerrard could be fit for this clash, but my gut feeling is Gerrard will start from the bench as a probable precaution.

Expected LFC Lineup - Reina (c), Johnson, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Ngog, Torres.

Liverpool's form (Last 5 EPL games): DLWLW
Newcastle's form (Last 5 EPL games): LDLDL

Head to Head:
Played: 32
Liverpool: 19
Draw: 6
Newcastle: 7
No of Liverpool's goals: 66
No of Newcastle's goals: 35

In the last corresponding fixture, Liverpool thrashed Newcastle 5-1 in a resounding manner.

Liverpool 2 - 0 Newcastle


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