It’s time. The Alexander Isak Era is getting started midweek and against Liverpool. Unless, of course, the UK government can’t issue a work visa in time for the Swede to make it to the Anfield pitch come kick-off time. One thing is clear, though, and that is that it’s been a long time since Newcastle got the better of Liverpool in a Premier League match.
The last time the Magpies defeated Liverpool Isak was just starting his football career as a kid in Sweden not even aged 15. You have to go all the way back to Dec. 6, 2015 to find the Men in Black outscoring the Reds (2-0 was the final result) when an own goal by Martin Skrtel and a scoring action by then-Magpie Georginio Wijnaldum help Newcastle get three points under the guidance of Steve McClaren. No wonder why Klopp signed Gigi for Liverpool next July at the end of that season...
After that win, though, Newcastle is boasting a putrid 0-4-7 record against the Reds with just four of a potential 33 points gained in those meetings. Definitely not a very good outcome if you ask me.
Until Howe took charge of Newcastle last season, though, the Magpies had lost to Liverpool conceding more than one goal in all games between both teams ending in a Pool victory since they “held” the Reds to a 1-0 victory all the way back in Jan. 1998! It’s not that losing 1-0 is anything good, but at least it’s not losing 9-0, I guess.
Speaking of scoring nine bangers, that’s precisely what Klopp’s men are coming off doing last Saturday when they put nearly ten goals past Bournemouth's keeper. That’s some scary thing to look at when talking about what might be ahead, but the truth is that Liverpool has had quite a shaky start to the Premier League campaign leading up to the first midweek match of the year.
Dropping points against Fulham and Crystal Palace was already bad, but the worst possible result arrived against a morale-barren Manchester United that still found a way to defeat the Reds by a 2-1 final result leaving Liverpool looking at a two-point tally three games into the season—with Manchester City, their main rival for the title, having seven points already.
Last Saturday, though, Liverpool seemed to finally click as Klopp’s plan worked wonders and was executed to perfection in a nine-goal trouncing of a Bournemouth side that could have easily conceded 15 goals instead of fewer than ten without many things changing here or there.
Even with Darwin Nuñez suspended for the past two games and into today’s game against Newcastle, Liverpool definitely didn’t miss him last Saturday. Luis Diaz, acquired to bolster the team last winter, is leading the way on the goalscoring front while Roberto Firmino put on an extraordinary show against Bournemouth making everybody aware of his talents.
No Sadio Mane? No problem, either, as Mo Salah is still there and affecting games even without getting into the scoreboard himself. Alexander-Arnold is a monster when he doesn’t have to defend himself. When not tasked with covering a giant like Aleksandar Mitrovic, Virgil van Dijk looks his best. Even the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho—with some up and downs—are looking great these days.
Liverpool might be sitting ninth in the Premier League table and one point behind Newcastle, but Liverpool is still Liverpool and the Reds are a freaking bulldozer getting their season started and gaining steam each passing week. Yes, the nine-goal game helped, but it’s now a tie between City and Pool in the goals scored-allowed leaderboard with each side at 13-to-5.
Newcastle is a much more tamed 6-to-4 and waiting for Isak to start putting balls into the net as soon as tonight or ASM to keep up his magnificent pace, and most of all—even more today—Nick Pope to make the goal look tiny to opposing players every matchday.
Tough assignment ahead, but another one to enjoy after seeing what this Magpie squad is capable of and proved in the clash against Manchester City just over a week ago.
How we line-up at Anfield this evening...— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) August 31, 2022
HWTL! ⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/tQ5l6pG5uL
Newcastle vs. Manchester City
- Date: Wednesday, August 31
- Kick-off: 20:00 BST / 15:00 EST / 12:00 PST
- Location: Anfield, Liverpool (England)
- TV: BTSport.com, BT Sport Ultimate, BT Sport 1, BT Sport App (UK), USA Network, UNIVERSO, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, UNIVERSO NOW (USA), fuboTV (Canada)
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Howay the Lads!