Liverpool vs. Newcastle Preview

Liverpool’s Portuguese striker Diogo Jota (2R) celebrates scoring. (Photo by Oli Scarff/ AFP)

Liverpool will strive for an eighth consecutive win when it hosts a struggling Newcastle side at Anfield on Thursday.

The Reds are second in the Premier League table, just one point behind leader Man City, after embarking on an impressive run of results. They should be able to maintain the momentum when they take on Newcastle, which is currently languishing in the relegation zone.

Liverpool FC vs. Newcastle United FC

Thursday, December 16, 2021 – 03:00 PM EST at Old Trafford

Fallen Giants

Once upon a time, this was among the most eagerly anticipated fixtures in the Premier League season. Newcastle spent several years as a serious title challenger, and it engaged in some epic duels. The most famous game took place in April 1996, when a 4-3 win for Liverpool laid waste to Newcastle’s bid for the league title. It is widely regarded as the greatest Premier League game ever.

The Magpies now fall firmly into the “fallen giants” category. They have not troubled the upper echelons of the Premier League table for many years, and they currently sit 19th, with just one win from 16 games thus far.

However, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund purchased Newcastle last month, instantly transforming it into the world’s richest club. It could soon become a leading contender for Premier League glory once more, but its short-term situation is bleak.

The new owner cannot start splashing the cash until the January transfer window opens, and the current squad is not up to scratch.

Eddie Howe replaced Steve Bruce as manager a few weeks ago, but results have still been poor. A 4-0 defeat to Leicester at the weekend left the Magpies three points below safety, and they now have the worst defensive record in the league.

Liverpool Is Surging With Momentum

Liverpool has the best-attacking record in the Premier League by a comfortable margin, so it sounds like a recipe for disaster for Newcastle. Jürgen Klopp’s men have banged in 45 goals in just 16 games so far this season. They are unbeaten at Anfield, and their current winning streak extends back to early November.

The Reds won the Premier League title with ease in 2019-20. Last season’s title defense was scuppered by injuries to key defenders, but Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip are now back in business, and Liverpool’s form has been terrific.

It drew both meetings with Newcastle last season, largely due to those injury problems, but it has not lost to the Magpies since 2015.

Team News

Liverpool is missing striker Roberto Firmino and understudy Divock Origi through injury. They are both edging closer to a return, but they may not be ready in time for this game.

Yet Diogo Jota is now back, and he should start in an attacking triumvirate with Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah – who leads the league with 14 goals and nine assists from 16 games this season.

There are no other injury concerns for Liverpool, so the Reds should field a very strong team on Thursday. Newcastle also has a clean bill of health.

Picks

Liverpool is a very heavy favorite to win this game. The best price available on the market is just -800 with BetMGM. To get any value, you have to give Liverpool a considerable handicap.

DraftKings has -105 on Liverpool -2.5, which does look tempting. Newcastle was woeful in its 4-0 defeat to Leicester at the weekend, and it could be in for another torrid time on Thursday.

Another interesting option is Liverpool win to nil at -125 with Bet365. The Reds have won four of their last five Premier League games to nil – a 4-1 win against Everton was the only outlier – and they should dominate this game against Newcastle.

Soccer Pick: Liverpool (-800) with BetMGM

Soccer Pick: Liverpool (-105) with DraftKings

Soccer Pick: Liverpool ( -125) with Bet365