Newcastle vs Liverpool – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 18th February 2023
St James’ Park
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we examine Liverpool’s trip to Newcastle. Newcastle are cooling off, and Liverpool will be relieved to have picked up three points last weekend. Who will prevail? Read on with our Newcastle vs Liverpool prediction.
Newcastle vs Liverpool Match Preview
Newcastle come into the game having lost ground on Man United in third place. The Magpies are still doing well, but they have drawn five of the last six games and, as a result, are 10th in the form table across this period. The previous three draws have been disappointing, including stalemates against Bournemouth, West Ham, and Crystal Palace. Newcastle must be winning these games if they have designs on qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Newcastle are undefeated in their last 17 league games. At home, Newcastle are pretty strong; they have won five of the previous seven, scoring thirteen and conceding only two. With 41 points from 22 games and a Carabao Cup Final against Man Utd to come at the end of the month, Newcastle will feel confident entering this game.
Liverpool coming to town may not be good news, however. Yes, the Merseyside men have endured a torrid season. However, they beat Everton on Monday, and have won eight of their last ten matches against Newcastle in all competitions. They are also still a team full of excellent players, albeit underperforming.
Away from home, Liverpool have lost five of the last seven, with only victories at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Villa Park about which to boast. Sitting in a disappointing ninth with 32 points after 21 games, Liverpool have also lost three of the last five league games; they will seek to remedy this at St James’ Park. It should be a good contest between two teams who can be deadly on their day, and Liverpool will seek to close the gap.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Willock, Saint-Maximin, Almiron, Wilson
Will Not Play: Targett, Lascelles, Krafth, Manquillo, M Longstaff, Guimaraes
Might Not Play: Konate, Thiago, Melo
Will Not Play: Diaz
Newcastle vs Liverpool Lineups (Predicted)
Newcastle (4-3-3): Pope; Burn, Schar, Botman, Trippier; S Longstaff, Joelinton, Murphy; Saint-Maximin, Isak, Almiron
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson, Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold; Bajcetic, Fabinho, Henderson; Gakpo, Nunez, Salah
Newcastle vs Liverpool Analysis
Newcastle’s Defensive Record is Good, but they’re Drawing too many Matches
As stated, Newcastle are something of draw specialists this season. Indeed they have drawn half their league games – 11 from 22. This might be a rather peculiar phenomenon, but in some ways, it makes sense. For a start, Newcastle are built on a cohesive defence which has not shipped many goals this season. Indeed, thanks to the efforts of the back four and goalkeeper Pope, the Toon have only conceded 13 goals all season. This record is fantastic, and when you don’t lose goals, you don’t need to score many to win games.
However, this may be Newcastle’s issue – they are not as potent as the other teams at the top of the table. While 35 goals is a respectable total, it is the lowest in the top six and far off Arsenal and particularly Man City’s tallies. They have an expected goal tally of 35, so they are performing about right in front of goal. However, those two clubs and Man Utd have outperformed their expected goals.
This situation speaks to the likelihood that Newcastle do not have finishers as good as the likes of Haaland, Saka, and Rashford. Yes, Wilson is a deadly striker at times, but he and Isak have not been fit enough, and until last week Almiron’s goalscoring streak had dried up. Newcastle have scored three goals in six games, which needs to be better for a top-of-the-table contender. Therefore, it makes sense that Newcastle can keep clean sheets and not need multiple goals to win games, but they struggle to get the goals in the first place.
Liverpool are a deadly team on the counter-attack. However, the onus is generally on them to control possession, as they have some of the best players in the league. Bajcetic and Fabinho will be tasked with sitting in the defensive midfield positions. At the same time, Henderson will buzz around them (Thiago is likely out). The Liverpool midfield will try to play short passes to impose themselves on the game rather than giving Newcastle a chance to build a measure of control for themselves. In this situation, Longstaff, Joelinton, and Murphy must be aggressive in their press and not allow Liverpool to find a rhythm. Liverpool will likely have more of the ball, however.
Guimares is still suspended and has been a big miss for Newcastle. The Brazilian is instrumental in allowing them to gain a foothold in midfield and get the ball to their forwards. It is no coincidence that Newcastle’s goals and results have dried up even further since he has been missing. Liverpool will therefore seek to target the Newcastle midfield as they know that without him, they can find joy in the half-spaces between the Newcastle midfield and defensive lines. Liverpool can then can get the ball to the forwards. How will both teams attack?
Newcastle are a team with various strings to their bow. With Trippier moving forward from the right-back position, he is a massive threat in attack. He links up well with Almiron on that side, and his crossing is excellent too. Indeed, the Magpies have put in the sixth-most crosses this season, so they target balls into the box for the likes of Wilson, Isak, and Joelinton to attack. As a result, Newcastle are also deadly from set pieces, with these players and the tall Burn to aim for.
Newcastle also enjoy taking shots on goal, and they are good at creating chances from one-on-one play and the creativity and skill of their wingers. Almiron and Saint-Maximin are very dangerous and tricky players who can dribble and make something out of nothing. Both have been less imposing recently, so given how much Newcastle depend on wide areas, this will be a significant factor in their low scoring in recent weeks. If the wingers can find spaces that Alexander-Arnold and Robertson vacate, they can get joy in this game.
Liverpool will likely attack both down the centre and the sides. With Gakpo and Nunez interchanging between the forward and left-wing positions, they are an unpredictable team. The former will hope his first-ever goal for the club on Monday has jumpstarted his Liverpool career. Salah has not had his best season on the right, but he remains a threat. He will look to take on Burn, and the big man might find Salah’s nimbleness and fleet of foot challenging to contain.
Liverpool will look to this front three and the creativity of Robertson and Alexander-Arnold from full-back to give them a spark in attack. They have scored 36 goals this season, but given that a quarter of those came in one game against Bournemouth, they will be dissatisfied with this total. Coming up against the statistically meanest defence in the league is a real test of their prowess.
This game is a tricky one to call. On the one hand, Newcastle are on the up and developing quickly. They have had a great season under Eddie Howe’s management, though they have slowed down in recent weeks. Liverpool are a team with some excellent players and a brilliant coach in Jurgen Klopp, but they have had an awful season. Games like this are where Liverpool need to prove they are not in terminal decline and can make their way back.
The game isn’t a great tactical fit for Liverpool. They will likely have more of the ball, and Newcastle seem more dangerous without possession as they can nick it and release their tricky wide players to attack spaces with pace, quick feet, and shots on goal. Alternatively, Newcastle haven’t been scoring goals recently. We also expect Liverpool defensive talisman Van Dijk to be back to help bolster the Liverpool defence. As a result, this game could be a low-scoring draw. We wouldn’t be surprised to see either team secure a narrow victory, but all of Newcastle’s last six games have seen less than three goals scored, and we see this continuing.
Newcastle 1-1 Liverpool
Newcastle vs Liverpool Betting Tip – Draw Odds:
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