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Newcastle, 26-12-18, PL (H)

What a result for us with palace beating city, every bit of luck helps and that could be a large slice for us. Good news that Arnold is back and in contention for this game but maybe to soon for a start, last 10-15 minutes maybe. I think Clyne might start here at RB to give Milner a rest and seen that Shaqiri didnt play against wolves i suspect he might start with maybe giving one of the front 3 a rest with maybe firmino on the bench. I think Fabinho will start giving his good form, Keita needs the game time so possibly another start for him although he was poor against wolves.My team for this game would be, 

                                                              Alisson

                                               clyne   lovren   VVD   robertson

                                                  Hendo   Fabinho   Keita

                                                  Shaqiri    Salah    Mane

Just two changes from the wolves game, maybe klopp will make more but either way i feel this is another 3 points for us and possibly a high score defeat for the magpies. Best of luck RedMen.                                                   

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  • It was nice to see Trent back, it made for a strong back four even with Gomez missing (although Clyne and Milner did do a tidy job, it must be said). Even the most hardened Lovren critic has to admit he's done a very good job filling in for Gomez and that half volley was pretty stunning. When there's a midfield of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Shaqiri on the team sheet I instinctively think Henderson's going to be the deeper player but Klopp played him further forward again, that's two games in a row now. This position seems to utilise him better, he's around the edge of the box more laying off balls. It's similar to how Rodgers used Henderson in 13/14 and now we've got Fabinho I hope Klopp plays Henderson in that position more often. Talking of Fabinho, that was a lovely goal off the bench, something we've been dying for. Shaqiri's proving he has no intention to be a bit part and that's how a squad should work, players forcing their way into the first team through their performances. I'm surprised by how City have faltered and I'm worried by Tottenham's surge but I'd have bitten your hand off for a six point lead at this stage. There's a long way to go but we're still relevant in the title race and that's all that matters.
    • I have been a big critic of Lovren but i will gladly say he has been fantastic this season, like a new player. His goal yesterday a striker would be proud of, brilliant and what about that long pass for Mane's chance in the 2nd half, outstanding. I'll be honest and say i'll always fear that big mistake from him but right now that looks a million miles away and long may that continue, i tip my hat to the guy.
      I haven't seen a more confident LFC team in many many years, even more so than the 13-14 team, i simply don't have any fears no matter who we play and it's a fantastic feeling. Hendo has been excellent as well and Fabinho, they've all been brilliant, let's keep everything crossed they can keep it all going for the rest of the season, we've been here before so not getting carried away just yet but we could'nt possibly have asked to be in a better position heading into the new year.
      • Unusual for Henderson and Lovren to receive praise on this site, but I thought they were our best performers yesterday. To be fair to Lovren he has been playing well ever since VanDijk came to the club. Maybe some of the responsibility was lifted from him allowing him to concentrate on his game. The emergence of Gomez this season has also raised the stakes for him. Henderson has had consecutive strong games now and seems to thrive as a more advanced midfielder.

        We are in a strong position and I'm confident we can go all the way this season with the proviso that Alisson, VanDijk and Salah remain injury free. We have enough cover to cope with injuries elsewhere but those three are crucial to our challenge.
        • There's been an irony about the results over Christmas. What's made City so strong for a number of seasons is the fact their second-string players are of such quality they rarely find themselves with an injury crisis, there's always someone decent ready to come in. The injuries we've had this season probably would have caused us concern any other time but the squad players have stepped up and played to their potential so that we've done what City usually do, kept going seamlessly. The irony is that City have lost Fernandinho and haven't been able to replace what he does in the team. It's been a big part of why they've been losing and I can't quite believe Guardiola didn't have someone ready to cover him, it's this kind of squad organisation that Guardiola excells at and has led to so many titles. It's fantastic for us, of course, as it's created that window of opportunity we can exploit, and we have, but I tend to think whichever squad holds up the best out of Liverpool, City and Spurs will be the victor come May.
        • Unusual indeed but you have to give credit where it's due and they deserve praise. Totally agree about Alisson, VVD and Salah, their the heartbeat of this team and we need them fully fit for the rest of the season to have our best chance of winning the title for almost 30 years, hopefully the gods are smiling down on us til may.
  • I would also go for Clyne at full back. I suspect on the other side Moreno will be given a game to rest Robertson. I also think Wijnaldum will be given a game and Fabinho rested. I thought Keita was playing well at Wolves until he got a nasty kick on the ankle after which he was poor but nobody seems to have mentioned that knock. However, for Newcastle I would replace him with Shaqiri. Up front it is difficult to rest the three star men but maybe this is an opportunity for Sturridge to replace Firmino.

    Rafa's teams are well organised but we should have enough to get past them if we are patient.
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