It might not seem reflective of the two club’s standings, but Newcastle’s form away to Liverpool is little short of disastrous.  It is eighteen years since Newcastle won at Anfield, a run that has included just one draw and fifteen defeats.  A run that Newcastle will feel they could end on Sunday.

Little separates the two clubs.  With the same games played, Liverpool sit three points behind Alan Pardew’s men.  Both sides will have hoped for loftier league positions and after this game will both have passed the quarter mark for the season in terms of games played.

Jose Reina and Glen Johnson await late fitness tests to see if they will be passed to play for the home side.  The visitors meanwhile will have to wait and see if Demba Ba has recovered fully from his recent calf problem.  One player Newcastle will definitely be without is Cheick Tiote; the Ivory Coast midfielder is currently in the middle of serving a three-match ban.

Steven Gerrard will make his 600th appearance for Liverpool and will be hoping the landmark appearance might generate a run that will enable his side climb into the upper half of the table.  A lot will depend on the form of Liverpool’s only fit striker, Luis Suarez.  Brendan Rodgers has again this week come to his players defence with regards to heavy criticism of the Uruguayan’s diving but primarily he will be hoping that the diminutive forward will add to his current tally of six premiership goals.

Alan Pardew will be equally hoping Hatem Ben Arfas good form continues and that the ex-Marseille winger will produce some of the mazy dribbles that have troubled most of Newcastle’s opponents so far this season.

A win is quickly required for both sides to kick start their respective seasons and jolt them into a push for a European place.  With both teams as equally adept at conceding as well as creating, open fare is expected.  Ultimately though the final score-line should be close, but Liverpool should expect to inflict another in a long line of defeats over their visitors from the Northeast.

858602