After a long and grueling season of championship football, Newcastle United can finally look towards a return to the top flight. That has us thinking, how would they have performed this year against Premier League teams?
In Liverpool, you have one of the most dynamic and fluid attacking forces in England right now. With the likes of the outstanding Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane to boast, it is clear to see why only Chelsea have scored more goals than them this campaign.
Those three have hit the net 34 times this season and have often left the best of defences looking rather silly. Given that Newcastle have had issues in the defensive department, especially when Ciaran Clark is not in the side, its clear that they would struggle against Jurgen Klopp's side.
Add Adam Lallana and former Magpies midfielder Gini Wijnaldum to the Liverpool attacking equation and it only becomes more frightening. Lallana has hit his peak at Anfield and while Wijnaldum does struggle away from home in the Premier League, they are both tidy and efficient footballers.
Newcastle have been in need of a player like the former for years. As good as Jonjo Shelvey is, he is not that type of player. He prefers to sit deep and dictate the tempo of a game. In order to cope with players like Lallana and Wijnaldum floating in between the midfield and defence, the club would have to have a tough-tackling, energetic holding midfielder. They have two in Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden, but neither of those really stand out as proper Premier League tried and tested.
It all seems gloomy from a Newcastle perspective, however, for all of their talents going forward, Liverpool's defence has been their achilles heel so often this season.
They have conceded goal after goal from set-piece situations this season (12), which has cost them dearly in their title push. If there is anything that Rafa's men have been good at this term, it has been set-pieces. They have bagged 21 from dead-ball chances this season, and given the deliveries of Shelvey and Ritchie, they could easily nick a goal or two against the Reds.