Liverpool V Newcastle United
Monday 13th April. 8PM. Sky Sports 1
Liverpool versus Newcastle might not be the headline fixture of the mid-90s, which provided spectacular feasts of entertainment, but Monday’s clash at Anfield is still a very important contest – particularly for the Reds.
Both teams have endured difficult campaigns but both will be eager to perform, albeit for very different reasons, and we should expect an intriguing battle between two of English football’s best supporter clubs.
Bring it on.
Reds Fighting To Keep Champions League Dream Alive
Back-to-back defeats inflicted by Manchester United and Arsenal has left Liverpool’s top four hopes hanging by a thread but Brendan Rodgers’ men will be eager to dust themselves off to keep the pressure up with a comfortable win over struggling Newcastle.
Liverpool might be without influential captain Steven Gerrard, as well as key centre-half Martin Skrtel, but that cannot be an excuse for failure at Anfield. The Reds boast far greater quality than the Magpies and should be coasting through this game if they are to be considered genuine top four contenders.
Wednesday’s FA Cup win at Blackburn, which booked Liverpool’s place at Wembley, will have raised spirits around Anfield and the Reds should use that momentum to fire a few goals past the sorry visitors, especially now that Daniel Sturridge has returned from his short-term injury.
The incentive is entirely with Liverpool and the hosts will be fully expected to answer the call. In all honesty, we’d be very surprised if they fail to deliver here.
Sorry Magpies Set For Further Disappointment
Judging by the lacklustre performance in last weekend’s derby at Sunderland, Newcastle’s mindset is already on the beaches.
Losing the Tyne-Wear derby is always disappointing but the nature of their defeat was truly worrying for John Carver’s men and it is hard to see where the next win will come from. Admittedly, the job hasn’t been made easy by the long list of absentees, which includes top scorer Papiss Cisse as well as captain Fabricio Coloccini and long-serving defender Steven Taylor, but this is a very poor Newcastle side indeed.
Newcastle’s problems are at both ends of the pitch too. A lack of goals combined with a vulnerable defence is never a winning combination and it’s hard to see them causing any real threat to the Reds at Anfield.
It has been another shocking season behind the scenes at St James’ Park and once again that has disrupted progress on the pitch. The Geordie nation is likely to taste further frustration in Monday’s showdown.
Liverpool V Newcastle United Betting
Unsurprisingly, Liverpool enter this clash as overwhelming favourites and are priced 2/5 with Bet365. If you fancy the visitors to cause a sock then this is available at 8/1, whilst the draw can be backed at 7/2.
As far as the betting is concerned, there is one bet that stands out as value: Liverpool to win-to-nil.
There is no denying that the Reds are less stable without the force of Skrtel, but Newcastle are unlikely to create many chances at Anfield and it could be another comfortable night for Simon Mignolet in the home goal. At the other end, the Reds will surely find a breakthrough at some stage.
Liverpool to win-to-nil @ 11/8 with SkyBet
We’re anticipating a fast start from Liverpool, who will want to reaffirm themselves as contenders for a top four finish. With this in mind, we’re backing the Reds to be leading at 30 mins.
Liverpool boast enough attacking quality to cause real problems for Newcastle and the likes of Sterling, Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho will all be eager to get amongst the goals. At 6/4, we think half an hour is ample time for the hosts to break the deadlock.
Liverpool to be leading at 30 minutes @ 6/4 with William Hill