Eddie Howe believes Newcastle United can ‘hurt’ Liverpool
Whilst many Newcastle United fans are seemingly already accepting defeat is inevitable at Anfield, Eddie Howe isn’t joining them.
The Newcastle United Head Coach accepts that ‘There’s so many different things you need to get right’ when playing the best Premier League teams.
With obviously top of the list the defensive side of things, especially when facing the league’s top scorers who have already scored 45 goals in 16 Premier League matches.
However, Eddie Howe is also certain that Newcastle United can provide a threat at the other end, stating: ‘I believe the other way we have players that can hurt them, certainly on transitions I think we’re a threat.’
It is easy to go over the top after a heavy defeat or win (so I have heard!) and to be honest the Leicester game wasn’t a 4-0 match. The home side had shown as little threat as Newcastle before a combination of cheating from Maddision and woeful reactions from the officials, gifted the Foxes that penalty and goal just before half-time. They’d had only one effort on target before that, whilst in the second-half, they scored three goals from their only three efforts on target.
Newcastle’s defending was poor at key moments and with Liverpool having far more attacking quality than Leicester had on Sunday, we know the writing will be on the wall unless NUFC are far tighter on Thursday night.
After scoring 37 goals in an 11 match Premier League run, Liverpool have taken their foot off the gas recently.
The last two PL matches have seen the scousers win 1-0 in both, away at Wolves thanks to a winner in added time, whilst at the weekend it was a penalty midway through the second-half that was the only goal of the game.
In each of these two games, Liverpool only had five efforts on target (the same as Leicester on Sunday!), which is the kind of level Newcastle need to try and keep them to.
Of course, if you concede early then like Leeds last night against Man City (7-0) you can really suffer.
Though having said that, Mo Salah put Liverpool 1-0 up after only three minutes last season at Anfield, with Joe Willock scoring in added time to give Newcastle a point. The match at St James Park last season saw a very rare 0-0 draw between the two teams.
Before that penalty at Leicester, Newcastle had only conceded one goal in their last four+ hours of football, so there were / are some signs that Eddie Howe was having a positive influence on the team’s defending.
With Liverpool and then Man City up next, we will be finding out plenty about how the defensive side of Newcastle’s game is holding up…
Eddie Howe speaking ahead of playing Liverpool at his press conference – 15 December 2021:
“There’s so many different things you need to get right because the top teams find different ways of winning.
“Also, bringing a threat is very important, that we bring a challenge to them.
“I believe we have players and a way of playing that can do that.
“Having a solid backline and a solid defensive shape will be key.
“I think we need our organisation to be at the highest level but I believe the other way we have players that can hurt them, certainly on transitions I think we’re a threat.”
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