Liverpool could record their best-ever winning run against Newcastle tonight, in a Premier League clash that presents a number of other all-time tallies to break.
Liverpool have won 29 and lost 11 of the 50 Premier League meetings between the sides while at St James’ Park they have won nine, drawn six and lost 10.
They have won each of their last five league meetings with Newcastle, and have never won six in a row.
This run includes victories in the last two in the league at Newcastle, but Liverpool have never managed three in succession.
The Reds have scored three or more in each of the last four Premier League clashes with tonight’s opposition. They have never achieved the feat for a fifth consecutive time.Goals galore
Liverpool have scored 104 goals against the Magpies – more than against any other team.
There has not been a goalless draw in any of the last 68 league fixtures between the teams – a run dating back to February 1974 and a game on this ground.
The Reds are looking to score three times at St James’ Park in a third consecutive visit, having found the net in 23 of the last 26 meetings home and away in league encounters.
Meanwhile, they have kept just three clean sheets in their last 27 league visits – September 2001, November 2007 and April 2013 – and only one in the last 10.2020 to remember
This is the Reds’ final league game of 2020, having earned 76 points from 34 games so far.
A draw with West Brom on Sunday meant that for the first time in their history Liverpool remained unbeaten at home in the league in three consecutive calendar years.Lucky number seven?
Liverpool have won their final match of a calendar year on each of the last six occasions since a loss at Chelsea in 2013.Leaky Magpies
Newcastle have not kept a home clean sheet in their last 11 league games – their longest run in the top flight since February 2005 under Graeme Souness.
Newcastle have scored seven of their league goals from the 80th minute onwards, but have conceded eight in the same period.Tonight’s referee
Paul Tierney has issued three red cards in his nine league games this season including one in two of his last three matches.
It is almost two years since his last Newcastle game (Jan 2019 and a 2-1 home win over Man City).This season’s scorers
Newcastle: Wilson 8, Joelinton 3, Almiron 2, Hendrick 2, Murphy 2, own goals 2, Clark 1, Fraser 1, Gayle 1, Hayden 1, Lascelles 1, Saint-Maximin 1, Shelvey 1
Liverpool: Salah 16, Jota 9, Mane 7, Firmino 5, Minamino 4, Jones 3, own goals 3, Grujic 1, Henderson 1, Matip 1, Origi 1, Robertson 1, Shaqiri 1, Van Dijk 1, Wijnaldum 1
* Statistics courtesy of LFC statistician Ged Rea (@ged0407).
An Andy Robertson landmark, goals versus Newcastle United and Liverpool’s 2020 Premier League statistics feature in our round-up of pre-match facts and figures from LFC statistician Ged Rea…
Robertson is set to make his 150th appearance for the Reds tonight
Liverpool have won each of the last five Premier League meetings with the Magpies and the last two at St. James’ Park - never before have they won six in a row overall or three in succession in the north east
Jürgen Klopp’s team have scored three or more in each of the last four top-flight clashes
There has not been a goalless draw in any of the last 68 league fixtures between the clubs - a run dating back to February 1974
The Reds have scored 104 goals against Newcastle (their most versus any opponent) and have netted more times at St. James’ (43) than any other away ground in the Premier League era
This marks the champions’ final match of the year - they have earned 76 points from 34 Premier League outings so far in 2020
Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 11 Premier League games (the longest ongoing run in the division) and are the only team to score in every one of their top-flight fixtures in 2020-21
Mohamed Salah (23) is the Reds’ leading top-flight goalscorer in the calendar year, followed by Sadio Mane (14), Roberto Firmino (eight) and Diogo Jota (five)
Salah has netted in each of his last four starts against Newcastle
The Reds’ new No. 6 has been limited to just one-and-a-half outings since his £25 million move from Bayern Munich in mid-September, owing to a knee injury suffered in the Merseyside derby.
Two-and-a-half months have passed since a challenge from Richarlison left Thiago on the treatment table, but the Spaniard is stepping up his recovery with a return to full training.
It had been suggested the 29-year-old could play again before the year was up, but now Klopp has cast doubt over his involvement for Wednesday night’s clash with Newcastle.
Speaking after the 1-1 draw with West Brom on Sunday, the manager explained that Thiago was due to join the entire session for the first time since his injury the following day, and that he will “need a few” before he can be considered.
“I like watching all my boys play, and with Thiago, of course, he had a few minutes, I would say, until he got injured,” Klopp said.
“So of course, we are looking forward to that, but I don’t know, it’s not really likely that he will travel.
“Let me say it like this. He needs a few sessions now, he’s really been out for a long time after the harsh challenge.
“It was proper impact. Nothing ruptured, nothing broken, but still took time obviously.
“And it still takes time, so we cannot and will not rush that. So I don’t know [when we will be back].”
The timing of Klopp’s pre-Newcastle press conference, held directly after the draw with West Brom, made any preview of the trip difficult for the manager.
In fact, he admitted: “We can do the press conference here, but I cannot go into detail for the Newcastle game.”
Thiago‘s situation may well have changed in the days between, therefore, but Klopp elaborated the comeback plan for his midfielder, saying “he just has to be part of team training.”
“Thiago did parts of training so far, on Friday he trained the full session but his session was a reduced session. But he could do that,” he continued.
“He just has to be part of team training, it’s not about training one day with the team then you can play football in the Premier League again.
“It looks quite promising, but I cannot say more about it in the moment. I don’t know.
“I think the plan was that he trains [on Monday] completely normal, but we will see.”
Liverpool are again gearing up for the next quick challenge, with a trip to Newcastle coming on Wednesday as the Reds look to bounce back from a home draw.Reds linked with move for two talents
Opposite ends of the pitch, opposite ends of their careers.
Liverpool are now being more heavily linked with a pair who are out of contract in the summer, starting with Bayern Munich’s David Alaba.
The versatile Austrian has been a regular at centre-back over the last year, but has often played left-back for the Bundesliga side and in midfield for his national team. He’s not going to renew and so can talk to teams from the start of 2021, though Liverpool are far from the only side in the running.
He was widely linked with the Reds and Sheffield United last summer when he made it clear he wouldn’t renew his contract with the Gunners and that still appears to be the case.
Two to keep watch on.No Thiago…yet
The midfielder isn’t quite ready for an on-pitch return, says the boss, who rightly points out that a return from injury isn’t simply a case of getting back into training, having one session then being back on the team-sheet.
“He has done parts of training so far. On Friday he trained a full session, but the session was a reduced session,” Klopp said.
“It looks quite promising at the moment, but I cannot say more about it, I don’t know. We will see.”
At least in midfield we do still have a fair few options, with James Milner also back recently – and this will be quite the [re]addition to the squad in January when our No. 6 is back to full fitness.Prepping for the Magpies
Jurgen’s not angry. That’s what he says. We all know what he’ll have been like after the draw – so let’s get back to winning ways!Quickfire LFC news
Get that Trent-to-Mo combo firing again quickly!
Using PV to assess the Premier League Big 6’s most valuable pass combinations: pic.twitter.com/7iHVAhcyPd
— Omar (@topimpacat) December 29, 2020Worth watching tonight
United vs Wolves should be pretty decent. 8pm, Amazon Prime. Or Norwich vs QPR in the Championship if you can’t stomach the Prem game!
It’s the final matchday of 2020 for Liverpool, where they will look to put their last performance right when they meet Newcastle on Wednesday evening.Newcastle vs. Liverpool
Wednesday, December 30, 2020 – 8pm (GMT)
St James’ Park
Premier League (16)
Referee: Paul Tierney
A trip to St James’ Park awaits in what is the final game of what has been a year like no other, where a victory is much-needed after dropping points last time out.
The Reds were left to rue taking their foot off the gas as they played right into Sam Allardyce’s hands to record the first Anfield league blemish this season.
Disappointment and frustration were the order of the day and with just three days between the games, a swift response is needed to maintain a buffer at the top of the table.
A Newcastle side without a win in their last four games in all competitions with a manager under pressure is next on the agenda, but Liverpool have a firm reminder not to take them lightly.
Jurgen Klopp voiced his expectation that his team will respond and they don’t tend to make the same mistake in succession and the hope will be the same applies here.
Having failed to capitalise on missteps elsewhere on the weekend, three points are vital as we turn into the New Year and another busy month of fixtures.
Let’s finish 2020 in style, Reds.Team News
As ever, all eyes and ears are on Thiago and his availability after being sidelined for more than two months with a knee injury.
The Spaniard took the first steps toward joining full team training prior to Christmas and the manager was expecting his full return with the squad at Kirkby on Monday.
It is still up in the air as to whether he will travel to Newcastle or that once again caution will come into play with minutes against Southampton on Monday in mind instead.
But as Thiago nears his return and both Xherdan Shaqiri and James Milner have recovered from their respective injuries, the Reds have been forced to trade another injury and it is Joel Matip once again.
The centre-back left the field at the hour mark over the weekend and Klopp confirmed that “he felt something in his adductor” and that the club would be forced to wait for the results of the scan.
The hope will be that it is a matter of weeks rather than months, with Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips now to be relied upon as reports continue to dismiss moving for a new signing in the January window.
Naby Keita will take no part in the game after picking up a muscle injury of his own, with Klopp having confirmed on Sunday that the Reds “don’t know exactly how long” he will be absent for.
The opposition, meanwhile, will remain without Jamaal Lascelles and Allan Saint-Maximin due to the effects of catching COVID-19.
And ex-Red Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Fraser are both expected to miss out with groin injuries.
Potential Newcastle XI: Darlow; Manquillo, Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Lewis; Ritchie, Longstaff, Hayden, Joelinton; WilsonLast 5 Away to Newcastle (All Competitions)
Won 3-1 – July 2020 (Van Dijk, Origi, Mane; Gayle)
Won 3-2 – May 2019 (Van Dijk, Salah, Origi; Atsu, Rondon)
Drew 1-1 – October 2017 (Coutinho; Joselu)
Lost 2-0 – December 2015 (Skrtel OG, Wijnaldum)
Lost 1-0 – November 2014 (Perez)
* To be played behind-closed-doorsDid You Know?
The Reds’ away record this season has not been impressive by any means, with just two wins from seven trips on the road.
But this time around they could not only add three valuable points to their season tally but also record a third consecutive top-flight win away at Newcastle for the first time in the club’s history.
Liverpool have strung two wins on the bounce at St James’ Park on a number of occasions but never three, and having won 3-2 and 3-1 in their last two visits a third on the spin is on the cards.Form
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Newcastle – Last five results (all competitions)
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp was eager to ensure the West Brom game is not replicated as he awaits yet another “tough challenge” against the Magpies:
“I’m not angry with them, it can happen. A defeat is a defeat if you don’t learn from it, we will learn from it again and we will play football again.
“The boys are a top group, they were a top group after winning 7-0 and are a top group after drawing against West Brom, that doesn’t change.
“I’m not a young manager anymore and I can judge these things in the right way, we are not happy about it but now it’s over and we can make sure it doesn’t happen the same again.
“It will be another tough challenge like all Newcastle games have always been. We had three days, let’s make sure we are ready.”TV & Liveblog Info
Newcastle vs. Liverpool kicks off at 8pm (GMT) and will be shown live in the UK on Amazon Prime, with coverage from 7.30pm.
Chris Williams will keep you informed with his usual bias commentary throughout all the action on our usual matchday live blog, starting from 7.15pm.
Arsenal youngster Folarin Balogun is “increasingly likely” to leave on a free transfer next summer, and Liverpool have again been mentioned as an interested party.
At the time, Balogun was yet to make his first-team debut for the Gunners, but having stayed at the Emirates as he entered the final year of his contract the 19-year-old has now played five times.
A promising talent who is most comfortable as a centre-forward, the US-born England youth international finds himself in an interesting position heading into 2021.
Balogun will have just six months left of his contract on January 1, and will be free to sign pre-contract terms with clubs outside of England, while a possible switch to a domestic club could be informally discussed.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein claims that with regards a longer stay at Arsenal, “talks have not stopped and the door is still open,” but that “it looks increasingly likely he will depart as a free agent.”
Ornstein adds that the striker’s “domestic admirers include Liverpool,” corroborating the report from the summer, with the Reds constantly monitoring the best young talent – particularly those with favourable contract situations.
But it is explained that a switch to Germany has the “greatest appeal at present,” no doubt due to the opportunities available in the Bundesliga.
Liverpool have seen their youth ranks reduced dramatically when it comes to attacking options with the sale of Rhian Brewster to Sheffield United, while persistent injuries for Paul Glatzel have left the 19-year-old on the periphery.
It is rare that Klopp calls upon any academy forwards into first-team training, though Luis Longstaff was given a chance earlier in the season, with Liam Millar overlooked and Layton Stewart seemingly considered not yet ready.
Perhaps Balogun has been earmarked as a possible long-term addition to the options up front at Anfield, with Roberto Firmino turning 30 next year.
There is also the prospect of Arsenal‘s No. 38 being seen as a low-risk, high-reward signing akin to Dominic Solanke, with the striker joining on the expiry of his deal with Chelsea in 2017 and then sold to Bournemouth for £19 million two years later.