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Match Preview: Liverpool v Newcastle United

Andy Carroll could face his old club for the first time since his January transfer as Liverpool host Newcastle at Anfield. Newcastle haven’t won at Anfield in the premier league since 1994. However, when the two clubs met at St. James Park back in December, Newcastle embarrassed Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool 3-1, with the then Newcastle man Andy Carroll scoring twice.

This time though, it’s different. Liverpool have the 3rd best home record in the premier league. At Anfield, they’ve won 65% of their matches and in their last five matches they’ve won 3, drawn 1 and lost 1, including last week’s 5-0 drubbing of Birmingham.

Newcastle on the other hand, are coming off 2 losses, 2 draws and only 1 win. They actually were sitting higher than Liverpool have been all season, when they were fifth way back at the beginning of the season, however, since losing Carroll and sacking Chris Hughton they have struggled and now sit 11th in the table.

Of course, the focus of this match, if he is fit, will be Andy Carroll. Dalglish has warned him to expect some abuse from the Newcastle fans,

“I think the boy is expecting something. I don’t know what they will do on Sunday but if, as a player, you don’t get abuse off your old supporters then they can’t have been too disappointed that you left.”

Liverpool played very well last week against Birmingham and for me, the biggest thing this week will be whether Andy Carroll’s return to the side alters the way Liverpool play going forward. Liverpool’s attacking performances, when Carroll didn’t play, against Birmingham and Manchester United were great. The ball was kept on the ground and the team tried to play pass and move football.

However, at times this season when he has played, most likely due to the omnipresent temptation of hoofing it up to him when things get a bit scary at the back, Liverpool’s players have tended to resort to route one tactics, with the exception of the game against Manchester City, and it hasn’t been great to watch.

Hopefully, that’s not the case and his transition back into the team sees just as good a performance as last week, and of course, 3 points.

Submitted by Liverpool Football Blog

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