Liverpool Home Preview 17/18

Tough Test As Klopps Merseysiders Come To Town

No doubt the build up to todays game will be dominated with nostalgic talk of Rafa and Liverpool mixed with a sprinkling of the infamous 4-3 games of years gone by but the simple fact is Newcastle need a reaction to last weeks very disappointing reverse at Brighton.

Quite simply last week was not good enough as Newcastle did their usual trick of reverting to type after a run of decent results.

For anyone that was getting carried away the simple fact that I have emphasised many times is that the fixture list has been very kind to us - this will be by far our toughest test since the opening day game at home to Spurs.

Put quite simply, if we play like we did last week against Liverpool then they will tear us to pieces.

The goal we conceded last week was so sloppy and we cant afford to defend like that against Firmino, Coutinho, Mane and Co.

We need to be more of an attacking threat too - we need to play like we did against Stoke and get at Liverpool from the word go because I think everyone knows their defence is their weak spot. We cant let their defence off the hook the same as we did with Brightons who had far too easy an afternoon a week ago.

Personally I would like to see a change up top - I would bring Gayle in for Joselu who has had 2 disappointing games in front of goal.

Gayle has that pace to get in behind the Liverpool defence and will just offer a more direct threat than the Spaniard does. Any chances we do get today against a team like Liverpool we have to take them.

Other than that I cant see too many changes - I expect the defence to stay the same although in midfield there is still the question of bringing Shelvey back into the fold.

You can see that I think Rafa wants to bring him back in but the player he would really need to come back in for is Merino who is playing really well. I think the 2 could play together but not in this game, I think you have to have Haydens defensive mind in there against a team of Liverpools quality.

Mitrovic returns from his ban - cant see there is any chance of him starting but will be interesting to see if he makes the bench and at least gives us another option up top if required.

With another international break next week its always nice to go into that with a positive result but I think we will have our work cut out today - I am just not sure we have the quality to cope with the big teams which is what makes not getting anything last week even more disappointing.

That said we do tend to raise our game sometimes against the bigger teams and it should be a good atmosphere for Sundays televised game.

Cant see this one being goalless so you never know maybe we will see another 4-3 - as long as this one goes in our favour then I am happy with that!

Today will see the return to St James Park of Dutchman Wijnaldum - I am sure the reception will be mixed, personally I have no real problems with him and at the end of the day he was always likely to move on following our relegation so I hope he gets a decent reception depsite his part in that relegation.

Our focus has to be on the future and today offers a great opportunity to make up for last week that hopefully we are up for the challenge.

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