Will there be an upset this weekend in the Premier League? Hard to say so, considering Newcastle’s recent form and second-best Premier League points outcome since flipping the calendar page and entering 2022. Liverpool has snatched 38 points over 14 games while the Toon is at 32 over 15 themselves. Battle of behemoths, this one.
Both teams are scheduled to kick the weekend off at 12:30 pm BST in Tyneside as Newcastle returns to their home turf for the last time on a Saturday. Klopp is probably going to be happy after inking a contract to stay in Liverpool for a few more years. So will be Fabian Schär, fresh off a new deal himself.
Eddie Howe opened the media briefing this morning speaking about Schär and the breaking news regarding his re-signing. “I really like him as a player. He’s performed very well. Everyone knows how he’s technically a very good footballer but he’s proved he can defend very effectively within the team structure. I’m delighted with him.” Schär will remain in Newcastle for two more years until the summer of 2024 if he gets to see his contract run out.
Moving on to more concerning stuff, Howe shared some intel about the status of injured Magpies making clear there are no new injuries to report. “We have no fresh injuries. Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson are getting closer but I don’t think they will be ready for this week.”
About Toon Legend and Future Captain Trippier and Howe’s long-friend Callum Wilson, the coach said that “[they] definitely won’t rush them back. [Newcastle] won’t put them at risk but if they’re fit [they’ll be used] like any other player. I think that’s important. They’ve had targets & goals to hit and when you’re injured it’s important you have those things.” Here’s hoping we get to watch him on the field before August.
Ryan Fraser doesn’t seem to be closer to returning, though. “Ryan has been out on the grass but he’s not trained. We’re taking it careful with him as hamstring injuries are notoriously difficult. Will he play again this season? I’m not sure at this moment in time but it’s not a serious injury”, concluded Howe.
Discussing Liverpool’s match, in particular, Howe could not have made things clear while keeping hopes relative low and demanding a collective effort come Saturday. “We know that nothing but our best tomorrow will be good enough. We have to be perfect defensively but we still have to give them a threat the other way,” said the manager. He later wrapped up his thoughts by saying “I think we have the players to do that but we need them at their very best levels.” Sounds like a tall task.
As for the rest of the games left on the schedule, Pool’s included, Howe had to say that “[Newcastle] had a good result last week and a good performance but we’ve trained well off the back of that. We know that with the games we have coming up there can be no dropping of our standards because this league can be ruthless at times.”
Kick-off is 24 hours away. Get those Black and White scarfs, flags, and jerseys ready, cause this one is coming fast and furious.