After the first international break of the season, the Premier League is finally back. Matchday five begins with Liverpool taking on Newcastle at Anfield.
The Reds look to continue their perfect start to the season and to win their fourteenth Premier League game in a row.
The long-awaited return to the team for Alisson Becker is set to become an even longer one. Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his press conference this Friday that the Brazilian goalkeeper will be out until the next international break at the very least.
Naby Keita is set to rejoin first-team training this week after an extended spell on the sidelines. He will still be missing for this Saturday’s fixture.
Other than that, there was no fresh injury concern over the international break. A nice feeling for Liverpool fans considering how rare an occurrence that is.
Chances are, Jurgen Klopp sticks with the same line-up that we saw in the 3-0 win over Burnley before the break.
Roberto Firmino’s involvement in the Brazil squad may lead to him being given a little rest – before the Reds face Napoli in midweek.
Adrian will continue to play in goal in the absence of Alisson.
The defence continues to pick itself with Joel Matip rightfully keeping his place in the team.
The midfield will be the only point of contention with Jurgen Klopp considering whether to play James Milner.
What to expect
Everyone talking about 40
Liverpool are unbeaten in 40 games at Anfield in the Premier League. They haven’t lost at home since Crystal Palace beat them 2-1 in 2017.
This fact will lead to everyone, especially on the BT Sport broadcast team, continuously mentioning the fact. All in the hope that Liverpool will lose.
Goals from the Reds
In Liverpool’s last 13 Premier League games, they’ve scored at least two goals. This will probably be 14 by the time we hit Saturday evening.
Liverpool will be heavy favourites to beat Newcastle at Anfield. The Magpies have only won a single game so far this season and really haven’t looked great under Steve Bruce.
The Liverpool – Newcastle fixture has a lot of history and a lot of goals within that history. However, this will be a far cry from the old days when both sides were fighting tooth and nail for a top-four berth.
Focus on mid-week
Liverpool go on to face Napoli in the Champions League this Tuesday. This will undoubtedly bring a large focus of Saturday’s happenings onto Tuesday.
Which players play and how long they play will be scrutinised more heavily than normal and there will be a tight focus on making sure that the Reds are ready to travel to Naples – where they were defeated in last season’s group stage.
The Reds may not have the same focus on the Champions League this year after winning the competition for the sixth time at the end of last season.
The focus – internally – will no doubt be on bringing the elusive Premier League title to Merseyside.
This should be a cut and dry win for the Reds at Anfield but Newcastle are historically very tricky customers.
They will be up for the tie and won’t go down without a fight. Hopefully, the quality of the Liverpool side will shine through and provide a platform for the Reds to get a comfortable win. We’ll go with 2-0 to the Reds.