Liverpool take on Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon, the hosts still in the hunt to secure Champions League football next season despite their poor form.
Here’s everything you need to know about that Premier League meeting at Anfield:
Like the other members of the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’, Liverpool have been at the center of the huge controversy this week, the club’s owners seemingly one of the key proponents behind the European Super League proposal.
While owner John W Henry has since apologised for his role in the attempted breakaway, it remains to be seen what punishment, if any, will be handed to the club itself, despite the players and staff seemingly having had no knowledge of the developments prior to the public announcement on Sunday evening.
To their credit, both Jurgen Klopp and James Milner voiced their concerns and opposition to the proposal following Monday night’s draw with Leeds, the two men having the bravery to publicly counter their own employers.
While the game itself at Elland Road became something of a background issue, the Reds will no doubt be disappointed to have slipped up late on, an 87th minute header from Diego Llorente securing Marcelo Bielsa’s side a well-deserved point after Sadio Mane had given the champions the lead midway through the first half.
That draw has left Klopp’s men in seventh, albeit with only two points between themselves and Chelsea in fourth, the race for a coveted top-four spot looking set to go down to the wire.
As for team news, both Curtis Jones and Nathaniel Phillips remain doubts, the two men having missed the trip to Elland Road.
Just when it looked as if they were tumbling towards the Championship once again, the Magpies have managed to find form at exactly the right moment, their latest entertaining win over high-flying West Ham leaving them well-placed to avoid the drop.
Steve Bruce’s side had capitalised on defensive lapses from the Hammers to take a 2-0 lead at the break, before squandering that advantage in the second half to allow their opponents to draw level, despite defender Craig Dawson having been sent off just before the interval.
With the game level heading into the final ten minutes, on-loan Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock came off the bench to grab the winner, the Englishman having netted a stoppage-time equaliser against Tottenham a few weeks ago.
The invaluable three points moved Newcastle to 15th and eight points clear of Fulham in the bottom three, the Cottagers also having played a game more with it looking more and more likely that Bruce’s men will be in the top-flight next season.
That result also means they have now picked up two wins and two draws from their last five league games, the return of Allan Saint-Maximin to the side proving pivotal, while much-maligned forward Joelinton has been much brighter of late.
As for this weekend’s trip to Anfield, former Bournemouth man Callum Wilson is in line for a start after featuring off the bench last weekend, although star man Saint-Maximin is a slight doubt after being forced off against the Hammers with a swollen ankle.
Newcastle 0-0 Liverpool, 30 December 2020
It wasn’t exactly a thriller when the two sides met earlier this season, as the Magpies hung on to deny their opponents all three points.
In truth, the home side had stopper Karl Darlow to thank for earning a point, the Englishman in superb form between the sticks, while Liverpool forward Mo Salah missed two glorious opportunities to give his side the lead.
While Ciaran Clark’s late effort produced a save from Reds ‘keeper Alisson, that was one of just two attempts on target for the hosts, as they ended the game having registered just 26.9% possession and ensured that it would be the first goalless draw between the two sides since 1974.
Although a slip up for Jurgen Klopp’s side, it did ensure that they would finish the year three points clear at the top of the table.
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Kabak, Fabinho, Robertson; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Milner; Jota, Mane, Firmino.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Murphy, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie; Shelvey, S Longstaff, Almiron; Joelinton, Saint-Maximin.
Who is the referee?
What channel is it on?
The game can be watched on BT Sport.
What time is kick off?
Saturday 24 April, 12:30 BST
Liverpool – 1/4
Newcastle – 9/1
Draw – 11/2