A Sunday afternoon slaughter has been scheduled, as Jurgen’s surging Scousers visit St James’ to face an eviscerated and dispirited Newcastle side.
Klopp took over at the Kop in October, and after starting with three draws his side quickly found their feet and have since won seven out of eight, including bigs wins over Chelsea (3-1), Man City (4-1), and most recently Southampton (6-1).
McClaren’s Magpies also come into this one following a big scoreline, although in this case it was just the latest heavy loss of many this season, with Pardew’s Palace winning 5-1. We’ve won three games during McClaren’s tenure, one of which came in the cup, and any remnants of the hope that once infested some of us is quickly dissipating as this season goes from bad to worse.
“Nobody is happy at this football club; all of sudden we have gone three steps forward and five or six back.
“We believe in these players but confidence is very fragile. People question a lack of character and fight and it appears that way, but these are young players, this is what they are going through.
“This experience they have to go through to come through it – that bit of adversity in a big club in a tough situation and be stronger when they come out of it.”
– Steve McClaren
The man recalled from his loan to save our season, following an injury to Jamaal Lascelles, “Iron” Mike Williamson is the latest victim of our perpetual injury crisis. Others on the wounded list include Rolando Aarons, Massadio Haïdara, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, Steven Taylor, and Cheick Tioté.
Philippe Coutinho is a doubt for the visitors, Jon Flanagan and Mamadou Sakho are a couple of weeks away from contention, plus Danny Ings and Joe Gomez look to be out for the season. Emre Can cannot play as he’s suspended.
Mitrović was dropped against Palace, and his replacement scored a goal, so I expect Cissé to retain his place, even if at the apparent detriment to the rest of the team. As Pérez was the half-time scapegoat for our switch to five at the back against Palace, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make way for either de Jong or Gouffran for a bit more presence in the middle of the pitch.
I’m going to be optimistic and say that we sneak a couple of goals. 2-7.
Where to Watch / Listen
As of writing tickets are still on sale and should be available from the match day box office up until kick-off. The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 with coverage starting from 15:30. Local radio commentary, as always, is on BBC Newcastle.
How do you think we’ll get on in this game? Have your say in our discussion thread.
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