The Premier League returns this weekend, with Liverpool’s home game against Newcastle United kicking off another round of fixtures.
Newcastle travel to Anfield for the 12.45pm kick-off on Saturday, with Liverpool looking to maintain their perfect start to the season.
The Reds have started off in impressive fashion once more, already scoring 12 goals in their opening four games.
Their performances have been assured and impressive as Liverpool look to mount another title challenge this term.
On paper, it looks heavily weighted in Liverpool’s favour but we all know the Premier League is never that simple.
Especially when you consider Steve Bruce’s side recently won 0-1 on the road away at Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool have certainly had the better of things in recent fixtures with Newcastle, winning five of their last 10 meetings.
Last season’s 2-3 victory at St James’ Park will live long in the memory, with late Origi winner keeping Liverpool’s title challenge alive.
One thing we could be set for is goals – with a total 29 goals scored in those last 10 games.
However, with only two wins over those 10 games, the odds are stacked heavily against Newcastle this weekend.
Having losing former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez at the end of last season, Newcastle have struggled.
The pressure’s already on Steve Bruce, and a third loss in five games could see that pressure crank up further.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp will be pleased to see his squad begin to report back to Melwood after the international break.
He’ll be even happier to see no injury setbacks for crucial players, giving him a near full-strength squad.
Both Egypt and Senegal haven’t played this week, so Salah and Mané will be fresh and ready to attack Newcastle.
Matip was another who didn’t feature in the early international break, so will be a certain starter alongside van Dijk.
Of those who have featured for their countries, none appear to have picked up any injuries.
Henderson and Alexander-Arnold played a full 90 minutes in England’s 5-3 win over Kosovo but could well start for Klopp.
Firmino and Fabinho played parts in Brazil’s ties with Peru and Columbia but shouldn’t be too tired out.
Gini Wijnaldum caught the eye for Holland, bagging two goals in two games for his country.
And Liverpool fans will be hoping he can continue his fine scoring form when he returns to Merseyside.
His compatriot, Virgil van Dijk, also featured heavily in these games but will be raring to go on Saturday.
With many players having featured heavily over the international break, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Klopp make some changes.
Adrian will remain in goal in place of the injured Alisson, and the back four will likely remain unchanged.
Mané, Salah and Firmino have scored seven of Liverpool’s 12 goals so far, and look as sharp as ever.
This will certainly be enough to give Newcastle’s defenders a few sleepless nights before the weekend.
How The Game Will Play Out
When it comes down to it, Liverpool simply have too much for Newcastle and should win this game comfortably.
Their pace, energy, movement and pressing will pressure Newcastle into mistakes, and Liverpool will punish any of these without asking.
Just look at the Burnley game, where Sean Dyche’s men were made to pay for some sloppy defending.
Newcastle will likely sit deep and hope to hit Liverpool on the counter or from set pieces.
Andy Carroll could be in line to make his second Newcastle debut and he could be an aerial threat.
But with van Dijk and Matip playing the way they are, even this threat could be nullified.
It’ll be a tough afternoon for Newcastle – and it could be a long one if they concede early.
Predicted starting XI: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wijnaldum; Mané, Firmino, Salah
Score prediction: Liverpool 3 – 0 Newcastle (Mané x2, Salah)