Newcastle Unite host Liverpool at St James’ Park looking to claim just their third win of the season and ease the pressure on under-pressure boss Steve McClaren.
Following their 5-1 thrashing at Crystal Palace last weekend and Bournemouth’s shock win at Chelsea on Saturday, the Magpies, who have made their worst ever start to a Premier League season, now sit three points from safety.
The Tyneside outfit have won just once at home all season, with their last outing in front of their own fans ending in a 3-0 defeat to now leaders Leicester.
And ahead of Sunday afternoon’s clash, many are expecting a similar scoreline for the hosts, as they take on a rampant Liverpool side.
Jurgen Klopp has had a remarkable impact since taking over at the start of October, losing just one of his 11 matches in charge and winning his last four outings.
Further cause for concern for Newcastle is the Reds’ away form has been sensational under the German. Away from Anfield, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has recorded four wins from five unbeaten matches, including a 3-1 triumph at Chelsea, 4-1 crushing of Manchester City and Wednesday’s 6-1 mauling of Southampton.
A fifth win on the bounce for the Merseyside outfit will see them move level on points with Tottenham and to within six points of leaders Leicester, making them genuine title contenders what has been the most unpredictable top flight campaign in years.
Liverpool have lost just one of the last six meetings between the two sides. That came in last season’s corresponding fixture when Ayoze Perez netted the winner in a 1-0 victory.
However, although they haven’t suffered many defeats against Newcastle, the Reds have only won one of their last five league games at St James’ Park – a 6-0 victory in April 2013.
When these two sides play each other there’s usually goals, with an average of 3.14 per game in the 42 Premier League matches between them.
Mike Williamson was recalled from his loan spell with Wolves earlier this week but won’t play after picking up a hamstring injury.
Cheick Tiote has not recovered from a groin strain so is also unavailable.
Philippe Coutinho remains sidelined with a hamstring injury and Emre Can is suspended.
Captain Jordan Henderson will be aiming to replace the German in midfield, while Daniel Sturridge could make his first league start for two months after scoring twice at Southampton on Wednesday.
League Position: Newcastle – 19th (1o pts); Liverpool – 7th (23 pts)
Last Meeting: Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle – April 13th, 2015
Key Players: Newcastle – Fabricio Coloccini; Liverpool – Roberto Firmino
Form: Newcastle – WLDWLL; Liverpool – WLWWWW
Shoot Says: Newcastle 1-3 Liverpool