This is the predicted Liverpool line up for Newcastle away on Sunday.
Newcastle, under manager Steve Bruce, find themselves in 13th spot in the league table. It’s been a middling season for the Magpies, they are probably a mid-table sort of squad, in the process of rebuilding. They finished 13th last campaign as well.
There has been a buzz of late that the Magpies could be sold to foreign interests and oil money at the close of this campaign.
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Bruce and the Geordies will be looking for a strong showing against the champion Redmen to close out this campaign. Look for Bruce to field his strongest side in hopes of stifling a Liverpool that sent off Chelsea at Anfield in their final home tie by 5-3.
A point here for the Magpies would be seen as a victory for Bruce and his squad. Liverpool sit on 96 points and a clear win would see them set another club record for most points in a 38 match campaign.
Allison Becker will be hunting for another clean sheet after shipping three against Chelsea last time out.
I look for Liverpool to play to win, with the gaffer fielding the younger lads in the first half and subbing on the regular starters in the second frame if necessary. We have seen him do this recently since the restart.
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I see Takumi Minamino starting in Roberto Firmino’s center forward spot, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in midfield with Fabinho.
Look for Neco Williams to start in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right back post.
Depending how the first half shapes up, Jurgen Klopp could send in the starters in the second half to get the win. If they are having a meal of it, look for Harvey Elliot, Divock Origi, and Curtis Jones to make second half appearances to replace Sadio Mane and Mo Salah and Keita.
Of course this could also be just reversed to reflect the starters taking the match into the second half around the 65th minute mark, which is where Klopp usually subs his starters out, barring unforeseen injury.
I will be looking for the forward three to sparkle, with clinical finishing in the final third. Salah is still in the hunt for the golden boot, but would need a hat trick at St James park to just tie Jamie Vardy.
Also be watching to see if Firmino can continue to find the net here.
Liverpool will be seeking to close out an amazing, record setting run with a victory – capping off a two year run of numbers that is as good as Liverpool have ever seen. 196 points in consecutive 38 match seasons is second only to City’s 198.
This sets a standard of excellence, and a marker that will be tough to beat for the best of the rest, who will be champing at the bit to dethrone the champions in the fall campaign.
The new campaign is set to begin 17 September, three weeks after the Champions League final in Istanbul and will conclude 23 May, 2021.
Onward and upward then! Up the Reds!!