Liverpool vs Newcastle preview, betting tips and prediction: Reds to end Toon run of Rafa's Anfield return
Liverpool to win and under 3.5 goals @ 13/10 with Coral
Draw HT/Liverpool FT @ 29/10 with Coral
Liverpool to win to nil @ 11/10
Rafa Benitez is a manager that loves to be loved, hence why he has stayed at Newcastle way beyond many people’s expected timeframe. At Anfield on Saturday evening, when he takes his Magpies side to face his former club, Liverpool, he will likely be serenaded from every corner of the ground. Six successful years with the Reds, which saw him win the Champions League and the FA Cup, have given him legendary status. The love is mutual, too, so much so that he still lives in his house in the Wirral.
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But he will have no time for sentiment, either this week as he prepares his team, or when the game kicks off. Liverpool won’t have any sympathy for his precarious position in the table either. Newcastle are a quintessential Benitez team; organised and well drilled, but they will face a real test against Jurgen Klopp’s side, as they sit just two points above the drop zone. Liverpool’s attacking quality will cause so many problems for the visitors, and though Benitez will want to keep their superior goal difference in relation to those around them in tact, Newcastle could be in for a long evening.
Overall this season, Liverpool have been very impressive, but a few moments of inconsistency have cost them dearly in the title race. They are in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League, though, with Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all looking good in front of goal.
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Newcastle have only lost two Premier League games since Christmas, which is testament to Benitez’s approach, but they missed an opportunity to grab a much-needed win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Liverpool have no fresh injury concerns, but Jonjo Shelvey is unlikely to face his former club after picking up a knee injury in Newcastle’s draw at Bournemouth.