Predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool for Boxing Day clash
Rafa Benitez returns once again to Anfield with this predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool below.
His two previous visits with Newcastle United produced a 2-2 draw and a 2-0 defeat, so is it time for a win?
It is certainly overdue, as Newcastle’s only Premier League victory at Anfield was back in 1994.
Everything of course appears to point to only one result today and little doubt Rafa Benitez will be expecting his team to do a lot of defending.
So is there hope for Newcastle against a Liverpool side who have only dropped points at home against Man City in a goalless draw?
Cardiff and Man Utd are the only clubs to score at Anfield this season in the Premier League and both were hammered, 4-1 and 3-1 respectively.
I think Rafa Benitez will go with a similar look to the game at Old Trafford in October.
A back five looks nailed on and it is only a case of who will play in it.
Schar is decent bringing/playing the ball out but I think the manager will go with his three best out and out defenders today as his centre-backs, Paul Dummett giving some left footed balance alongside Fernandez and Lascelles.
In front of them, in the absence of Ki (now on international duty), I think even if Shelvey is fit, he will be kept for Watford on Saturday. Always a chance Sean Longstaff could be thrown in for a PL debut in a game where Rafa sees little chance of points, but instead, it looks one for both Diame and Hayden to start and give the defence as much protection as possible.
This will also help allow Kenedy and Yedlin to potentially get forward from their wing-back positions, which will of course end up being more full-back this afternoon.
Against Manchester United, a more mobile Perez and Muto partnership was used to good effect, and once again I see Rafa set to not use a target man today.
Joselu offers so little and Rondon will surely be saved for the Watford match. At Old Trafford we saw that/this formation help Kenedy produce a far better performance, as he had some freedom to get forward and indeed scored an excellent goal.
With that Watford match in mind, difficult to second guess Rafa today with his selection, as he tries to balance his scarce resources, and indeed it could be the kind of match where Jacob Murphy is thrown back in, despite not even making the matchday squad against Fulham.
However, I fancy Ritchie’s workrate will be used to help keep that discipline at the back.
Of course, Martin Dubravka will be massively relied on this afternoon, as he goes for a third clean sheet in a row after the Huddersfield and Fulham games.
This being my predicted Newcastle team v Liverpool:
A team that will hopefully see Rafa Benitez extend this run to only two defeats in the last ten Premier League matches.
Liverpool v Newcastle Match Betting:
All Liverpool v Newcastle betting HERE
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