Soccer English Premier League 18 February 2023
Newcastle vs Liverpool - Match Preview
Newcastle United have captivated the hearts of many Premier League (PL) followers this season, as they navigate into what is unknown territory for the club in recent years by occupying the fourth spot in the table. Their rise to prominence has been driven by equalling their longest-ever undefeated streak in their league history (W9, D8), a current 17-game run that coincidentally started after a 2-1 defeat to opponents Liverpool back in August, though drawing five of their last six PL matches (W1) shows there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
While the Magpies have spread their wings, it’s their stubborn defence that’s helped get them into the top four, having kept ten clean sheets during that 17-match unbeaten streak. The St. James' Park faithful will therefore once again be in full force when Liverpool arrives, with the only loss across their side’s last 24 home matches (W17, D6) actually being a 1-0 defeat to their visitors back in April 2022.
Liverpool put an end to their four-game PL skid (D1, L3) and accompanying three-game scoreless run in a timely fashion by beating Merseyside rivals Everton 2-0 last time out. Despite that win, many think the most Jürgen Klopp’s men can realistically salvage this league season is a top-four berth, meaning they’ll have their eyes firmly set on closing the nine-point gap Newcastle hold over them, as Liverpool also possesses a game in hand.
The Reds will therefore be looking to secure a victory that would see them make history by avoiding defeat for a sixth consecutive league visit to St. James' Park (W3, D2) for the very first time. Otherwise, a fourth successive PL loss on the road may greet Liverpool for the first time since April 2012, a run that ominously culminated in a 2-0 defeat to Newcastle.
📋 Players to watch: After netting in the reverse fixture, Alexander Isak could become the first Newcastle player to score home and away in the same PL season against Liverpool since Alan Shearer in 1999/00. A fellow new arrival to the PL this season, Cody Gakpo, opened his account for the Reds when scoring against Everton, and now eight of his last 12 club goals have arrived after half-time.
⚡ Hot stat: Newcastle is the only side who haven’t lost ‘to-nil’ this PL season.
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