Unfortunately for Newcastle, Steven Gerrard will return from injury to lead Liverpool in the crucial game against Newcastle United tomorrow afternoon.
Gerrard has missed four games with a groin problem, but has returned to full training this week and unfortunately looks set to play against us tomorrow.
That’s hardly fair of Liverpool to bring Steven back for this game, and while he may be only around 80% fit, as Alan Shearer said during his press conference yesterday, Steven’s still one helluva player at 80% fit.
Alan Shearer has some concerns in the Newcastle back line, and defenders Jose Enrique and Steven Taylor have not traveled with the squad, and are both out injured for this game.
We expect 21 year-old Canadian David Edgar to get a start at left back, and of course David scored our only goal in December at St. James’ Park, when we were taken apart by The Reds 5-1 – our biggest defeat of the season, and also one of our worst performances to boot
However, Jonas Gutierrez (ankle) is fully fit again and Liverpudlian midfielder Joey Barton, an unused substitute against Pompey, is also included in the squad, and we expect both players to start.
Alan Shearer’s team selection is likely to be another surprise, but we expect him to play a 4-5-1 formation, and try to pack the midfield, in an attempt to hold Liverpool at bay as long as possible.
But he may not do that, and we know they’ve been working all week on a plan to do well against Liverpool, so it will be interesting to see what team he does start.
This is the side we think Alan will choose, in 4-5-1 formation, for tomorrow’s game, which has a at 1:30 pm kick-off time.
Beye Coloccini Bassong Edgar
Duff Butt (c) Barton Smith Gutierrez
Subs: Krul Geremi Guthrie Nolan R.Taylor Owen Martins
We really would have liked to put Andy Carroll in place of Martins on the subs bench, because he can play the Viduka role,. but we think Alan will go for experience.
While we have gone for Edgar at left-back because of his excellent play at Stoke City, Alan could also play Damien Duff at left back, or even Ryan Taylor. But we don’t see starting positions for any of our three signings in January – Nolan, Ryan Taylor or Peter Lovenkrands.
It’s interesting that Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez thinks he may find it tough against Newcastle tomorrow, as he talked about the game:
“It is a difficult situation when a club keeps changing the manager,” “Alan Shearer is there now but it is too soon to know what real effect that has had.”
“But I have watched some videos of games, and I could see the passion from their team and the work-rate, they are trying very hard to make things change.”
“We beat them 5-1 away this season, but this time it will be different. It is so close to the end of the season and they are fighting for their lives so it will be a tough game.”
“We do not expect to score five again, it is too important now for them and us. It will not be easy in any way.” “They are under pressure, against Portsmouth in midweek they were working very hard and their commitment was fantastic.”
“They are playing for something now. They will fight for everything to the end.”
Some good words from Rafa about the team under Alan Shearer, and that’s nice to see.
We keep hearing from the players that Shearer has instilled a new belief in them, but we have yet to really see that on the field of play, although for the first 70 minutes against Pompey, the lads ran their legs off.
We hope Rafa is right, and Newcastle put up a terrific fight tomorrow, because Newcastle United are nothing if not a proud club with loyal supporters.
And a point tomorrow would be just great, and a win would be a dream, from which we’d probably have to wake up from – unfortunately. 😀
Howay The Lads!!