Adam Goodwin (@agjournalism) picks out the best value betting option in a tantalising tussle between Liverpool and Newcastle.
Newcastle v Liverpool | Sunday 16.30 | Sky Sports 1
Liverpool have come under plenty of scrutinies within the last few weeks, they scraped past Leicester last Saturday and failed to win away at Spartak Moscow midweek. They’ve dominated games but have failed to take their chances.
Newcastle’s 1-0 loss to Brighton last Sunday was a game void of quality, and the Magpies look like they’re really missing a prolific striker. Dwight Gayle and Aleksandar Mitrovic should both be available.
Liverpool have efforts aplenty but no killer instinct
Liverpool have had a total 181 shots on goal in all competitions this campaign, but only 36 of those shots have found the back of the net. That’s the second-worst conversion rate in the league, only Southampton boast a worse record. It was a familiar story for the Reds in the Champions League on Wednesday.
They went a goal down in Moscow but came back thanks to a superb goal from Philippe Coutinho. And what followed was an absolute onslaught by Jurgen Klopp’s side, but they just couldn’t convert their chances.
Sadio Mane returned from his three-match ban against Spartak Moscow and he was influential in Liverpool’s goal and their all-round play. When Mane didn’t start for Liverpool last season their win percentage was just 42%, compared to the 68% when he did start. He’s such a huge player for the Reds and some people believe he’s now more of an asset than Coutinho.
Rafa returns to where he used to rule
Rafa Benitez will come up against his former employers on Sunday, and he will have very fond memories from his time with Liverpool. He had a win percentage of 55% when at Anfield and won the Community Shield, FA Cup and the Champions League.
Jamaal Lascelles is currently Newcastle’s top goal scorer this season with two goals, and his fellow centre-back partner is level on goals with their strikers Joselu and Mitrovic. It’s fairly obvious that Newcastle are lacking a decent a striker and Rafa Benitez was reportedly attempting to sign one on Deadline Day but failed to bring one in.
I think Dwight Gayle is their best option up-front and the ex-Crystal Palace striker scored a brace at the end of 2014 season against Liverpool to practically end their title hopes.
Liverpool should prove far too powerful
The way Liverpool are playing now, I fully believe they could beat anyone if they take their chances. It’ll be the first Premier League game where Coutinho, Mane, Firmino and Salah will start and I don’t think a Newcastle defence missing Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune will be able to deal with them. Jurgen Klopp’s side are 2/1 to win on the -1 handicap, and if Liverpool find their shooting boots, this will sail in.
Liverpool v Newcastle – Liverpool to win -1 handicap (2/1 SkyBet)