The Reds and the Magpies Square off at St. James Park.
by Rhydon Atzenhoffer
December 10, 2010
Liverpool and Newcastle are sharpening their teeth for what is sure to be an interesting display tomorrow afternoon on the Toon. The Magpies are still shell shocked from the totally unexpected sacking of manager Chris Houghton. The unpredicted sacking came as a surprise to most all of the footballing world, and it surly was even more of a surprise to Houghton. If bringing your club back up to the top flight with a dominating championship campaign, having them mid table at nearly the half-way point when everyone expected them to drop, and having destroyed Aston Villa 6-0 and beaten Arsenal at the Emirates 1-0 is considered grounds for the sack, what is the world coming too?
Former West Ham manager Alan Pardew will face a tough test in Liverpool for an opening game for his new club. The Newcastle players are more than likely not at all ready for the transition considering the circumstances. It will be interesting to see just how they react under the new boss whom I dont see as someone so experienced as to have gotten rid of someone that was doing well beyond predicted.
The Reds of Liverpool will look to continue their fine form from Monday night when they walked through Aston Villa with a comfortable 3-0 victory without the likes of any of their main guns. Fernando Torres is back in the starting XI after the birth of his son, Leo, held him to fatherly duties during the previous match. Torres will most likely partner with Ryan Babel of David Ngog up top if Hodgson elects to continue with the 4-4-2 that was so successful against the Villans.
The Magpies will be without defenders Fabrio Coloccini and Mike Williamson due to suspension so I expect a mix up in the back most likely to result in Sol Campbell coming off the bench alongside of Toon favorite Steven Taylor. It looks like a depleted set of premiership sides, but I see Liverpool having the edge with their overall depth being of more quality.
I look to see the Reds come out sticking to their guns, and looking sharp on their way to a 2-0 victory on the Toon. The Reds will have plenty of chance but their finishing is still off as to why I predict only the two goal margin. The Magpies will be also without Kevin Nolan as he is still injured and the crow to back their boys as they know this has been a rough week for the Gordie faithful and the players alike.
Starting XI predictions for Newcastle:
Krul, Simpson, S. Taylor, Campbell, Enrique, Routledge, Barton, Tiote, Gutierrez, Carroll, Ameobi.
Starting XI predictions for Liverpool:
Reina, Johnson, Krygiakos, Skrtel, Konchesky, Kuyt, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Ngog, Torres