On Sunday afternoon, there’s a huge clash between one of the new boys to the ‘serious-contender club’ and one of the recent Premier League champions, as Newcastle take on Liverpool (4.30pm). Can the hosts bounce back after their defeat to Manchester City last time out? Or will the visitors continue to impress? This NUFC vs LFC preview, with betting tips, aims to answer those questions.
The Magpies came unstuck against an imperious Manchester City last time out, though they acquitted themselves better than most teams will against the defending Premier League (and Champions League) champions, offering plenty of resistance, losing by the finest of margins. Prior to that, the Geordies won with lots in hand as they brushed aside Aston Villa in front of a home crowd on the opening day, scoring five goals in the process. Each of their first two performances this term suggest that Eddie Howe’s men have resumed their progress and are still very much a team moving forward.
As for Liverpool, well, there were positives to be taken from their opening-day draw away against Chelsea. They shrugged off an early setback to get the job done at home to Bournemouth on match-day two, showing that they’re still a team that contains plenty of final-third quality. The likes of Luis Diaz and Mo Salah can make something happen in the blink of an eye. Frustratingly for boss Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool fans, new signing Alexis Mac Allister was sent off in that game and thus will not feature here, which is a blow.
Magpies looking dangerous
As touched on in this preview above, the Newcastle players can be forgiven for delivering something of a muted effort against Man City last time out. Going to the Etihad never really provides teams with a prime opportunity to get on the front foot. It is fair to say that the Magpies were more concerned with containing the vast number of top-tier attacking players that City boast. For the most part, Eddie Howe’s men did that well, keeping themselves in the game. Now back on home soil, they can deliver an improved effort.
The way in which this Newcastle team dismantled Aston Villa on the opening day ought to have Sunday’s visitors feeling worried. The Villans are far from weak, so the fact that Newcastle scored five, registering seven shots, posting an expected-goals-for total of 3.10 was very impressive. On that occasion, they showed a real blend of creativity and end-product, while it was clear to see that they have numerous attacking threats in their line-up. The introduction of both Harvey Barnes and Sandro Tonali has clearly boosted what was an already creative midfield, while striker Alexander Isak looked just as threatening, if not more, than he did last season.
Visitors LFC must improve defensively
After two games, the Reds have four points, and have scored four goals, so there’s not really much to get upset about. However, defensive frailties have been there for all to see over the course of the opening two games, which will worry both Liverpool fans and Jurgen Klopp alike.
Against Chelsea, not only did they concede, but they gave away a couple of relatively sizable openings. It was more down to a lack of end-product, be that a final pass or a poor shot, than anything else that meant they only conceded once on that occasion. They only conceded once against Bournemouth too, but again, there was a real lack of sturdiness about their defensive performance. At the end of the day, if you’re giving away 13 shots and 1.52 xG at home to Bournemouth, then chances are, you’ll struggle defensively away against a rampant Newcastle side.
Reds on top
Newcastle may have had the better overall season last time around, but it is the Reds who have very much been on top in this fixture in recent times. When the pair met last, back in February of this year, Liverpool won by two goals to nil at St. James’ Park. Prior to that, the Reds won 2–1 at Anfield and have now won each of their last four games against Newcastle. Somewhat disappointingly, the Magpies have failed to win any of their last six home games against Liverpool, four of which they’ve lost. Will the tide turn here?
Home goals the way to go
In the early betting with our recommended bookmakers ahead of this game, the bet that really stands out is Newcastle to Score Over 1.5 Goals.
Sure, the hosts failed to get seriously competitive in the final third away to Manchester City last time out. The way in which they continuously created chances and scored goals at home to Aston Villa before that bodes well, especially as the visitors have done anything but cover themselves in defensive glory over the last couple of weeks.
In their first two games, Klopp’s backline has conceded an average of 1.42 expected goals, conceding an average of 11.5 shots. Such numbers really don’t point towards them keeping it tight against a home team that posted 3.10 xG at home on match-day one. Nor do such numbers suggest that the early odds on Newcastle to score at least two goals are less than slightly generous.
If you are looking to get involved here, stick with the hosts and bet on them to expose the cracks that have already started to appear in Liverpool’s rearguard. So, for the betting tips, this is our suggestion for this NUFC vs LFC Premier League game preview:
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.