Paul Merson predicts Liverpool v Newcastle United
Paul Merson has been looking ahead to Anfield on Boxing Day.
Newcastle have a daunting task as they travel to face top of the league Liverpool.
Things couldn’t be going much better for the scousers, riding their luck to qualify for the Champions League last 16, whilst this weekend couldn’t have gone any better.
A dominant 2-0 win at Wolves on Friday night and then watching Man City fall at home 3-2 to Palace, giving Jurgen Klopp’s team a four point lead at the top.
Ironically, only a day after that Palace victory, Paul Merson declares that if Newcastle did win at Anfield ‘This would be the biggest shock of the season if they won.’
Would Newcastle beating Liverpool really be a bigger shocking than Man City’s loss yesterday? As usual, Paul Merson blows with the wind and apparently bases his views simply on the most recent game.
Merson saying he’d watched the Fulham match and Newcastle ‘Never looked like scoring in a month of Sundays and they were playing against the worst defence in the world!’
Predictably, Paul Merson forecasts a victory for the reds and indeed the bookies make Newcastle a massive 22/1 to win, odds which I wouldn’t disagree with.
However, the Sky Sports pundit thinks it will be an easy 3-0 home win and maybe it will be – but the form/stats don’t really support that.
Despite the total lack of support in the transfer market, Rafa Benitez has refused to roll over against the better teams. You can say what you like about him but he knows how to set up a disciplined defence.
The other five of the ‘big six’ have all just beaten Newcastle by a single goal this season, whilst Newcastle have just had two clean sheets and in their last 10 Premier League games have only conceded nine goals. In eight of these last 10 matches Rafa’s team have conceded either one or no goals.
In the season as a whole, outside the top four, only Leicester and Wolves have conceded less this season than Newcastle and with both of them it is only one goal less than the 22 Newcastle have leaked.
Maybe surprisingly as well, Newcastle’s recent results have been very decent against Liverpool, NUFC lost 2-0 at Anfield in March but before that they had two draws and a win.
The last 11 matches home and away have produced four wins for Liverpool, four draws and three victories for Newcastle.
However, when it comes to winning in the Premier League at Anfield…you have to go back almost 25 years, April 1994 saw a brilliant Kevin Keegan led win, with Lee and Cole getting the goals.
Reality is that Liverpool are very good at the minute and Newcastle are very good at defending, in general terms.
It would take a brave/reckless man to back Rafa’s team to win but it would take a foolish one to risk much money on Liverpool hammering Newcastle.
Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:
“I watched Newcastle against Fulham.
“They never looked like scoring in a month of Sundays and they were playing against the worst defence in the world!
“So this would be the biggest shock of the season if they won here.
“Newcastle will defend for so long, but then it will not be enough.
“Prediction is Liverpool 3 Newcastle 0.”
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