The headline fixture in gameweek three of the 2023-24 Premier League season sees Newcastle United welcome Liverpool to St James’ Park for Sunday’s fascinating encounter.
The Magpies were beaten 1-0 by treble winners Manchester City in their most recent affair, while the Reds came from behind to put Bournemouth to the sword 3-1 at Anfield.
Having hit Aston Villa for five during a vivacious attacking display on the opening day, some Newcastle fans may have embarked on their journeys to the Etihad quietly hopeful of slaying a Manchester City side still feeling the effects of their UEFA Super Cup exploits.
It was not to be for Eddie Howe’s men at the Etihad, though, as the lively Phil Foden set up Julian Alvarez for the decisive goal in the 31st minute, and the Citizens could and probably should have won by more had Erling Haaland not left his shooting boots in the changing room.
While Haaland endured an off day in front of goal, Howe also departed the Etihad with a bitter taste in the mouth, having felt that his side failed to hit their newly-established lofty expectations in the wake of their ruthless success over Aston Villa.
The Magpies enter the third gameweek of the season sitting in eighth place in the table, although the early-season standings certainly count for little at this stage, but it is now just one clean sheet in 13 Premier League affairs for this weekend’s hosts.
On the flip side, Newcastle have only been beaten three times at St James’ Park in the Premier League since the start of 2022, although two of those defeats have come against Liverpool, who unlike Howe’s side did manage to turn around a one-goal deficit to triumph last weekend.
Even before some fans had taken their seats at Anfield during Liverpool’s meeting with Bournemouth last weekend, chaos reigned supreme, as Antoine Semenyo broke the deadlock for the Cherries with just three minutes on the clock after Andoni Iraola’s side had already had a strike ruled out in the earliest stages.
With new signing Wataru Endo only deemed ready for a place on the bench, Liverpool’s distinct lack of a defensive presence in midfield was being exposed by Bournemouth, but the Reds soon found their rhythm and fought back through Luis Diaz’s acrobatic strike, Mohamed Salah’s penalty rebound and Diogo Jota’s tap-in
Even a second-half red card to Alexis Mac Allister – which has since been rescinded – did not impact Liverpool’s momentum in the final half-hour, but as ever, Alisson Becker had to bail his side out on a couple of occasions in the dying embers to help the Reds get off the mark at the second time of asking.
Victory over Bournemouth stretched Liverpool’s unbeaten streak in the Premier League to 13 matches since April’s thumping at the hands of Manchester City, and Jurgen Klopp’s men have also made the net ripple in 12 of those contests, while their 113 goals against Newcastle is their most against a single opponent in the Premier League era.
Thanks to Nick Pope’s rush of blood to the head and subsequent sending off, Liverpool defeated Newcastle 2-0 at St James’ Park in February to record their fourth win on the bounce against the Magpies, who memorably succumbed to Fabio Carvalho’s last-gasp Anfield winner almost exactly a year ago.
Newcastle United Premier League form:
Liverpool Premier League form:
We say: Newcastle United 2-2 Liverpool
Newcastle’s morale may have taken a slight hit with their loss at Man City’s headquarters, but with a taste for goals at home, the Magpies can surely expect to breach a disjointed Liverpool XI on more than one occasion, even if Endo is introduced to reinforce the engine room.
However, what Liverpool lack in resilience, they can often make up for at the opposite end of the field, and with Newcastle also failing to offer Pope adequate protection in recent months, an entertaining draw could be on the menu up north.