Liverpool will look to keep pace with high-flying Premier League leader Manchester City, when the Reds host Newcastle at Anfield on Thursday.
The pressure is on to match Manchester City’s midweek result after the Citizens demolished Leeds 7-0 for their seventh league win in a row. Liverpool (2nd, 37 points) is just four points back and on a five-game Premier League win streak of its own since November’s shocking defeat to West Ham, the Reds’ only loss of their league season thus far.
At the other end of the table, Eddie Howe may only be four games into his Newcastle managerial tenure, but there is a real sense of urgency. The sense of rejuvenation wore off a bit during last weekend’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Leicester City that brought everyone on Tyneside back to Earth. Still, the Magpies (19th, 10 points) have earned four points in four matches under Howe, a decent haul considering the club was on six points — all from draws — in the 12 matches prior to his hire.
The former Bournemouth boss isn’t backing down from a title contender. “It is a great opportunity to face the best in the land and see where we are and how we can impose ourselves on them,” Howe said in his pre-match press conference. “We need concentration, game management, structure, set play organisation. Top teams find different ways of winning. We have to bring a threat, a challenge to them, and we have players and a way of playing to do that.”
How to watch Liverpool vs. Newcastle
- Date: Thursday, Dec. 16
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- TV channel: —none—
- Spanish-language TV: —none—
- Streaming: Peacock (subscription required)
The Liverpool vs. Newcastle match is available exclusively on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, with no television coverage in the United States.
The subscription to Peacock Premium costs users $4.99 a month and it comes with a full schedule of exclusive Premier League matches.
Liverpool vs. Newcastle lineups
A clean bill of health is usually required for a serious title challenge, and that is what Liverpool possesses. Only Nat Phillips, Curtis Jones, and Harvey Elliott are confirmed out with injury struggles. Divock Origi and Roberto Firmino have missed time of late, but both are back in training and could be available for selection, though likely as subs.
Any other changes would likely be due to squad rotation or matchups, with Naby Keita, Konstantinos Tsimikas, and Joe Gomez all possibly pushing for playing time, along with forward Diogo Jota. Their inclusion could see Thiago, Joel Matip, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drop to the bench for load management ahead of a busy festive period.
Mohamed Salah has played every single minute this season, and it will be interesting to see if manager Jurgen Klopp decides to give him a bit of rest during the busy month, especially considering Salah will likely miss a significant chunk of the season for the Africa Cup of Nations coming up in January.
Liverpool projected lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Alisson — Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold — Fabinho, Henderson, Keita — Mane, Jota, Salah
Newcastle is in a similarly advantageous position with regards to squad health, having survived the Leicester City loss without picking up any new concerns. That leaves Paul Dummett as the only injured Magpie, having yet to feature this season thanks to a long-term calf injury.
In fact, Newcastle will get Ciaran Clark back from his two-game suspension, which could see Miguel Almiron or Joelinton sacrificed to restore a five-man defensive line that Howe used earlier in the season. However, it’s possible that Clark could come straight in for captain Jamal Lascelles who has struggled of late.
If Howe chooses to return to a five-man back line, that could see Matt Ritchie get another look, which would see Jamal Lewis fall to the bench.
Newcastle projected starting lineup (3-4-3, left to right): Dubravka — Clark, Lascelles, Schar — Ritchie, Willock, Shelvey, Manquillo — Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Joelinton
Liverpool vs. Newcastle betting odds & prediction
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
The bookmakers are eyeing a blowout in this one, and understandably so. Liverpool has obliterated almost everyone in its wake this season…until recently.
The Reds fell to West Ham in early November, and a few weaknesses have sprung up since then. They bounced back wonderfully, putting four goals past each of Arsenal, Southampton, and Everton, but they have slogged to a pair of 1-0 wins in their last two matches against defensively stout teams in Wolves and Aston Villa.
Newcastle cannot claim to categorize itself as “defensively stout” as the Magpies haven’t kept a single clean sheet this entire Premier League season. Still, this could be an opportunity for Klopp to rest some tired legs. However, it does appear possible to take advantage of the oddsmakers love for Liverpool and jump on a few plus odds in favor of Newcastle keeping things close, while still expecting Liverpool to come away with all three points.
Backing Mohamed Salah also seems ideal, with the Egyptian in spectacular form. Salah has scored or assisted a goal in every single Premier League game this season save one from way back in August. His anytime-scorer odds are worthless, but first-goalscorer odds look enticing enough, especially if Klopp again selects Oxlade-Chamberlain as the central striker. If Jota returns to the lineup, he is one to eye as well, having scored six goals in his last eight starts.
Pick: Newcastle +2.5 (-105), Salah first goalscorer (+200)
Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle
- Moneyline: Liverpool -900 / Draw +950 / Newcastle +2200
- Spread: Liverpool -2.5 (-105) / Newcastle +2.5 (-105)
- O/U 3.5 total goals: Over -130 / Under +105
- Both teams to score: Yes +110 / No -145
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