Liverpool vs Newcastle United Pre-Match

It was only 2 weeks prior to this day that Liverpool were sitting atop the Premier League table knowing that three more wins would see the league title return to Anfield for the first time since 1990. And yet 14 days on The Reds have let it all run away from them, with the majority of supporters still seeking out psychological help to stop them from crying every time they see or hear the word slip. For many, decades of mental trauma began when Steven Gerrard’s boots refused to allow him to atone for failing to control Mamadou Sakho’s short pass.

But today at Anfield the plan is not to dwell on the past. The supporters of other clubs will surely joke that such a plan completely out of character for Liverpool; let them joke. Brendan Rodgers has repeated in various interviews in the past week that the aim for this final day of the season is to win the match, consolidate second place, and send the fans home happy. Of course, failing to win the league after being odds-on favourites a few weeks ago is disappointing, but finishing just behind the highest-spending team in the history of sport is nothing to turn your nose up at. For the first time in a generation, Liverpool supporters can confidently look to the future.

Right now though, the devastating hangover from that incredible Crystal Palace comeback on Monday night is still a source of distress, and Newcastle might just be the prefect remedy. It’s been 20 years and 18 league matches since The Toon walked away from Anfield victorious, and going on their recent form of one win from the last seven on the road, Liverpool will be confident they can increase the unbeaten streak to 19. All the more comforting for the Reds is that Newcastle have scored just 13 goals in the league since the turn of the year, with on-loan Loic Remy the most threatening forward with four in his last seven games. For the sake of comparison, Liverpool have plundered 55 goals in that time.

Luis Suarez, the target of much humiliation following his tearful breakdown at Selhurst Park, will surely be looking to score the solitary goal needed to surpass the 38-game scoring record currently held by Cristiano Ronaldo and Alan Shearer. At the same time another record could be broken, with Liverpool being required to hit five past their opponents today to best Chelsea’s 2010 total of 103 goals scored in a season. Considering all of Newcastle’s defensive woes, and Liverpool’s attacking quality, it wouldn’t be unwise to bet that both records will have tumbled come the close of play.

Focus has shifted from the title race within the past week, with only the most optimistic among us still believing the impossible could just be possible, but from 3pm onwards the majority of Anfield will surely have one ear tuned in to the Manchester City game, praying for a miracle while hoping their team runs riot on a Newcastle side which has underachieved all season. However, regardless of the scoreline today, and regardless of whether or not the West Ham players can scratch their names in to the history books, Liverpool and its supporters have no reason to look back on this campaign in dismay. The team has made remarkable progress under Brendan Rodgers and there is real belief that improvements will continue to be made, holes will continue to be patched, and tactics will continue to evolve. Rodgers’ Reds aren’t a perfect outfit by any means, and while next season will be a real test of the squad’s depth, if the right signings are made this Summer the 2014/15 season might just be Liverpool’s year.

Team News

Liverpool

Jordan Henderson, now having served his three-match suspension, returns to a Liverpool squad which has no fresh injury concerns.

Newcastle

Papists Cisse is confirmed to be out for several months after recently undergoing surgery on his knee, while Davide Santon is also injured. Youngster Adam Armstrong is on international duty with England Under-17s and so isn’t available.



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About The Author

Elliot Morrow

was born in Cumbria, England and carries the embarrassing burden of having supported Manchester United between the ages of 7 and 9. However, after seeing the error of his ways through help from his Father, Elliot is now a die-hard Liverpool fan of over 10 years. Currently living in Manchester while studying Film and Media at university, he has to keep his passion for The Reds slightly under-wraps, but won't hesitate to wear his Liverpool shirt around the city centre when he's feeling brave enough.

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