Newcastle welcome Liverpool to St James Park for their Saturday evening clash as both teams look to get back to winning ways. The Magpies are still in fourth, two points ahead of Tottenham, but have struggled somewhat after the turn of the new year. Liverpool have had a tough 2022/23 season so far, sitting back in tenth closer to the relegation zone than the top spot.
Newcastle had a solid January transfer window with the signings of Anthony Gordon from Everton for £40 million and Harrison Ashby from West Ham for £3 million. Other arrivals include Martin Dubravka returning from his loan to Manchester United and Matty Longstaff returning from his Colchester Loan.
Despite their super-strong first half of the season, The Magpies have only one win and four draws in their last five games. They edged top-of-the-league Arsenal to a goalless draw at the Emirates, then bagged a 1 - 0 win over Fulham with a last-minute Alexander Isak winner before resuming their run of draws with a goalless encounter with Crystal Palace. Newcastle’s two other draws came against West Ham and Bournemouth, both games ending at 1 - 1. However, in this time, Newcastle beat Southampton 3 - 1 on aggregate to reach their first major Final since 1999, and their first League Cup Final since 1976.
Liverpool only signed one player in the January window, Cody Gakpo arrived in Merseyside from Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven for £45 million. The Dutch forward had an impressive World Cup, scoring three goals in five games, catching many clubs’ eyes, but settling on Liverpool.
The Reds have just one win in their last five games, only managing a draw and three losses in their others. The last Liverpool win was a shaky one with Jurgen Klopp’s men beating Leicester 2 - 1, with Wout Faes scoring an unfortunate two own goals. From there Liverpool lost 3 - 1 to Brentford, were thrashed 3 - 0 by Brighton, drew 0 - 0 with a struggling Chelsea and then most recently lost 3 - 0 to Wolves. In the cup competitions, Liverpool had to replay Wolves after drawing 2 - 2, winning the replay 1 - 0 only to slump to a 2 - 1 defeat to Brighton in the Fourth Round.
These two clubs have faced each other 184 times in their histories with Liverpool having a significantly better record against Newcastle. The Reds have won 90 of the 184 games against Newcastle, whereas The Magpies have only won 50 of the encounters with 44 of them ending with a share of the points.
A player to watch for Newcastle may be Isak, who in the absence of strikers like Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron will look to be Newcastle’s source of goals. The 23-year-old already has three goals in his just ten appearances so this may be the time for him to assert himself in the striker position.
For Liverpool, a player to watch will always be Mohamed Salah. Though he’s had an uncharacteristically quiet season, the Egyptian can always turn on the magic for Liverpool, as seen in him already having 17 goals in 31 games in all competitions in a quiet season.
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