Table-topping Liverpool welcome Newcastle United to Anfield on Boxing Day, with Magpies boos Rafael Benitez returning to the club where he enjoyed such as great coaching career. Liverpool have won their last six games in all competitions, with their last defeat coming in the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain on November 28. Since then, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have taken the scalps of Everton, Napoli and Manchester United in their winning run. They head into this game on the back of a 2-0 win away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday evening.
Bentiez is in the process of making Newcastle a very hard team to beat, though, perhaps typically of the Spaniard’s teams, they are still a little blunt in attack. The Toon have managed just 14 goals in their 18 league games in 2018/19. That needs to improve if they are serious about finishing in the top half of the Premier League table.
Liverpool vs Newcastle United Prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle
We predict that this game will be won by Liverpool, with the scoreline being at least 2-0. The fact remains that the Reds are currently the Premier League’s form team, with Manchester City being beaten at home by Crystal Palace on Saturday. Liverpool look like they are serious challengers for the title this season, and will be relishing the chance to give their fans a festive treat at Anfield. For the Toon, this game will be about damage limitation, but there is only so long that you can frustrate an attack like Liverpool’s when they are playing at home.
Our recommended tip: Liverpool 2-0
Our featured tip for this game can be found at William Hill, who are offering odds of 5/1 on Liverpool winning 2-0. This matches our prediction for how the game will turn out. Liverpool are very strong right now, and are genuine challengers to Manchester City in the Premier League title race. Newcastle struggle to score goals, and if the Reds go into an early lead, they are not tactically set up to chase games. It will be hard for the Toon to keep the scoreline down if the Reds are on form and decide to run riot.
These two sides have played each other on 46 previous occasions in the Premier League. Liverpool have won 25 of those clashes, Newcastle 11, and there have been 10 draws. The Reds have won 18 times against Newcastle at Anfield in the Premier League. Last season, the league game at St James’ Park was drawn 1-1. The second time the teams met in the league, at Anfield in March 2018, Liverpool won 2-0. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane supplied he goals for the Reds, with assists coming from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Roberto Firmino.
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Players to watch: Mohamed Salah & Mohamed Diame
Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah remains one of the Premier League’s most dangerous attacking players. In his 18 Premier League appearances this season, the Egyptian international has directly contributed to 16 goals, weighing in with 11 goals and five assists. Nine of his goals have come with his left foot, and just two with his right. He is yet to score a headed goal this season. He has also created 10 big chances for the Reds.
If Newcastle deploy a 5-4-1 formation again at Anfield, then defensive midfielder Mohamed Diame will once again be a key player for Benitez’s team. The Senegal international will have to work hard to break up home attacks before they test his back four. He has made more tackles this season, 56, than any other player from either team. It seems very likely that he will be adding to that tally significantly on Boxing Day at Anfield.