Saturday, November 03, 2012

LFC Scout Report: Newcastle United

By Ben Hardy

Newcastle travel to Anfield on Sunday hoping to take advantage of Liverpool's poor home form in a match where both teams are desperate for the three points as the Christmas period beckons.

Liverpool have been overtaken by Newcastle in recent years as a Premier League force and now is the time to rectify that and push Liverpool back up the league with this new era of young talent.

Liverpool endured a disappointing 1-3 Capital One Cup defeat at home to Swansea midweek where as Newcastle had the night off after being previously knocked out.

There is no time to dwell on the loss however as the games come thick as fast at this time of year. All attention must be fixed on the visit of an efficient Newcastle team and make sure the form shown at Anfield improves in the near future.

Newcastle, lingering in tenth position, seemed to have struggled to gain any form or momentum so far. Only two defeats out of nine however is encouraging but with four draws and three wins, the Magpies need to be turning one point into three if they are to recreate last season's fine feat and finish in the top six.

A good run in the Europa League could be important in terms of form, two wins and a draw puts them top of Group D but as is so often the case, can they maintain their good performances in both cup and the league? or will they fade out towards the latter stage of the season? It is a tough balancing act.

Newcastle is a huge club and one that deserves European football meaning a lot of pressure will be put on Alan Pardew to qualify once again.

Team News

Newcastle's star striker Demba Ba has been rated "50-50" by boss Pardew but will be given a chance to prove his fitness before the match.

The inform attacker is a doubt for the trip to Anfield as he picked up a calf strain last time out against West Brom.

Ba is currently sitting joint top of the Premier League goal scoring charts with seven goals and his absence could be good news for the Red's chances of three points.

Another key player who will definitely be missing is Cheick Tiote as he continues to serve his three match ban after the red card against Sunderland.

Key Players

As Demba Ba is doubtful for the match, all eyes will turn to his Senegalese striking partner, Papiss Cisse. Having fortuitously scored his first league goal of the season last week, a lot will be expected of him to carry on Ba's early scoring form and for him to show his lethal goal scoring instinct that left us in awe last season.

Aiding Cisse will be Hatem Ben Arfa. The France international can deceive any defender at any ground due to his quick and clever foot work and his dribbles will have to be halted to stop him breaking through the Liverpool defence.

The Toon faithful will be hoping Fabricio Coloccini can reproduce his man of the match performance against Sunderland as a fired up Luis Suarez will be doing all he can to break through the defensive line.

Having only won three out of the last 14 league matches at home, the pressure is now being put on Brendan Rogers and his team to turn Anfield into a fortress once more and soon.


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