If Liverpool beat Newcastle at Anfield tonight then we are just four points behind Manchester City in fourth place. It could mean even more pressure on a derailed City side in the race for Champions League places. And Liverpool should beat Newcastle, we have an overwhelming record against the Magpies at L4. The Reds have clocked up 19 league matches without defeat, claiming 16 wins and three draws.
For some time Manchester United and Arsenal appeared to be the teams to pass to reach top four. Now it seems that reigning champions Manchester City is the team we should aim to leapfrog. They went down yesterday and have lost three out of the last four. Man City looks depressed after failing to get into the title race and is there for the taking. But Liverpool has got to do their part to climb up to fourth. Starting tonight when a team completely out of form visits. Newcastle has four straight losses in the league and Liverpool must make it five.
The Reds need to recapture the form that ensured a sequence of 13 undefeated league matches. After that we lost to Man Utd and Arsenal and seemed to be out of the battle for fourth. But a win versus Newcastle would put us right into it again.
Liverpool is a better team than Newcastle both in defence and going forward and everything but a victory is a failure. Okay, we have to do without Steven Gerrard, Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Adam Lallana and Mario Balotelli but should cope anyhow. Good news is that Jordon Ibe could feature tonight after recovering from injury quicker than expected. He might be our trump card.
Hopefully Liverpool manage to focus on the league and forget that a FA Cup semifinal looms on the horizon. Not everything is lost in the league and the Reds must prove to be good professionals and put Newcastle to the sword tonight. A bright, optimistic start full of running is a wish. Last season we almost always scored early in games and could relax. About time we did it again.
This is the team I want to see tonight (in a 4-3-3 formation):
GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Glen Johnson. CB: Emre Can. CB: Kolo Toure. LB: Alberto Moreno. DM: Lucas Leiva. RM: Jordan Henderson. LM: Joe Allen. RF: Fabio Borini. CF: Raheem Sterling. LF: Philippe Coutinho.
I think Can is available again and he and Toure should start leaving the shaky Dejan Lovren on the bench. Moreno has been out of form lately but I guess Jon Flanagan isn´t ready for comebck yet. In midfield our options are limited so Lucas, Hendo and Allen must continue. Daniel Sturridge has performed quite bad lately and it´s time to give livewire Borini another chance. If Ibe is fully fit then he should go straight into the team.
I expect Liverpool to dominate and win comfortably by two or three goals. As we often do against Newcastle. A win sets us up for more of:
We Go Again.