Newcastle play host to Liverpool in what is a big match between two old rivals. Newcastle remain in a strong position to finish in the top four but have drawn a lot of games recently. Liverpool claimed a much needed win vs local rivals Everton on Monday night and must think they need a win here to stand any chance of catching Eddie Howe’s team.
I’ve compiled my stats pack for today’s match below which should provide you with everything you need to put together your bet builders this weekend bet. Use my Stats Pack Guide as a companion to the data below for better bet builder results.
Key Newcastle midfielder Bruno Guimaraes is suspended and Joe Willock might also be an absentee for the Magpies due to a hamstring injury. Joelinton should play in central midfield and manager Eddie Howe might be forced into a 4-2-3-1 system with Almiron playing in a more central role and Anthony Gordon starting on the wing.
The trio of Almiron, Callum Wilson and Allan St Maximin all have some slight knocks but should be fit enough to play. Alexander Isak is likely to keep his place upfront though.
Liverpool welcomed back Virgil van Dijk, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino from injury on Monday night. Only Van Dijk is set to start though with a massive Champions League game vs Real Madrid just around the corner.
It would be a surprise if any changes are made to the team that beat Everton 2-0. Jurgen Klopp has options though if he needs them.
Newcastle average 1.59 goals per game and just 0.59 against. They have been massively overachieving defensively because their xGA per game is as big as 1.36! A combination of strong defending and some exceptional keeping from Nick Pope has been the main reason for this overachievement. The Magpies have fired in an average of 14.10 shots in each fixture, of which 4.77 have been on target. Only 3 SOT against per match has been crucial in restricting their goals conceded.
Eddie Howe’s men have a brilliant set piece taker in Kieran Trippier and regularly play for corners and free kicks. They average an impressive 6.95 corners per game and 4.18 against. Newcastle games can get a bit frantic, and the cards have flown. The Toon average 1.82 cards per match with their opponents picking up 2.32. Newcastle matches can potentially explode given the right sort of conditions.
Liverpool average 1.71 goals per game but have significantly underachieved compared to their xG of 2.23. They have conceded 1.33 goals per game but only 4.33 SOT in each fixture. Liverpool have certainly been shooting readily this season, averaging 16.70 shots per match, with 5.67 on target.
The Merseysiders have a high average corner count (6.67) and haven’t conceded many (3.43). Cards have been surprisingly low in Liverpool matches. The Reds have been well disciplined, only picking up 1.19 cards whilst their opponents have obtained 1.43.
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Callum Wilson averages well over three shots per 90 mins but only has a SOT rate of 1.36 He scores plenty of goals but isn’t always the most accurate of shooters. Allan St Maximin has similar numbers and averages 2.39 shots per 90 mins.
Attacking midfielder Miguel Almiron has been amazing this season. He is averaging 2.33 shots per game but only converting that into 0.74 SOT. From 6 appearances, Alexander Isak averages 2.62 shots per 90 mins and is easily the most accurate Newcastle player of significance, converting that into 1.90 SOT.
Darwin Nunez averages a massive 5.59 shots per 90 mins with 2.20 on target. The danger with him, or indeed any Liverpool attacker are the number of minutes he might get now that Klopp has several options in the final third. Mo Salah averages 3.29 shots per 90 mins with a fairly disappointing 1.30 SOT rate.
In his limited appearances so far, Cody Gakpo has been worryingly inaccurate averaging just 0.54 SOT per 90 mins. He scored vs Everton on Monday though so should be boosted by finally getting on the scoresheet for the Reds.
Player Goals and Assists
Miguel Almiron tops the Newcastle scoring charts, netting 10 goals. He had a long dry spell but got back on the scoresheet vs Bournemouth last week. Callum Wilson has scored 7 times and also contributed with three assists. His form has been patchy since the World Cup break though.
Midfield duo Bruno Guimareas and Joe Willock have combined for 5 goals and 5 assists so will be badly missed here.
Mo Salah has had a disappointing year but still leads Liverpool for goals and assists. He netted vs Everton on Monday night so his tail might be up here.
The frustrating and enigmatic Darwin Nunez has 5 goals and 3 assists, but probably should have double those numbers such are the number of chances and good positions he finds himself in. Trent Alexander-Arnold surprisingly only has one goal and one assist.
Newcastle average 52% possession and this is a number which has been increasing more recently, especially at home. They recently had over 60% possession vs Palace, Fulham, West Ham and Bournemouth respectively. Manager Eddie Howe is gradually transforming this team into being more comfortable on the ball which is worth looking out for.
Kieran Trippier is on every Toon set piece and averages 53.8 passes per 90 mins. Defensive duo Fabian Schar & Sven Botman average around the 50 mark for passes and they are worth watching if Newcastle continue to progress as a possession hungry side. The suspended Bruno Guimaraes usually leads Newcastle for passing so somebody in midfield, perhaps Longstaff could be a candidate to rack up the numbers.
Liverpool average 60% possession which is one of the highest marks in the Premier League. Defender Joe Gomez averages an impressive 82.4 passes per 90 mins and both Trent and Jordan Henderson average over the 70 pass mark.
This is an interesting match because Liverpool are not guaranteed to have huge spells of possession. But equally if Newcastle sat back then it wouldn’t be a shock if they did have over 60% of the ball.
There is no getting away from the fact that Newcastle are a dirty team. Joelinton has obtained nine cards this season and averages nearly two fouls per 90 mins. One more booking will earn him a 2 match Premier League ban. Kieran Trippier usually fouls at least once per game and has netted five cards. Centre back Fabian Schar is another player worth keeping an eye on for a potential card.
Upfront, Callum Wilson is a pressing forward type of player and will get stuck in, often mistiming a tackle. No Newcastle players will want to earn a red card here and potentially miss the upcoming Carabao Cup final.
In his limited appearances so far, Cody Gakpo has demonstrated an ability to be fouled on average 2.43 times per 90 mins. Young Spaniard Bajcetic has really caught the eye recently and is an underrated opponent in the middle of the park, dribbling on average 3.25 times per 90 mins.
Darwin Nunez can be a physical beast and hard to bring down. He will provide a difficult test for Trippier if he switches out to the left hand side.
Match-Ups to watch
Joelinton vs Stefan Bajcetic
Kieran Trippier vs Darwin Nunez
Fabian Schar vs Cody Gakpo
Jurgen Klopp’s men are generally quite clean. Both Joe Gomez and Trent have three cards and are most likely to be tested here by Isak and St Maximin respectively.
Elsewhere, Fabinho and Darwin Nunez both average over one foul per 90 mins and can impose themselves physically on the game.
Bruno Guimaraes is usually a foul magnet in midfield so perhaps Longstaff or Joelinton will be targeted instead. Allan St Maximin averages an astonishing 7.89 dribbles per 90 mins and will be a clear problem for Trent Alexander- Arnold or anyone on that side of the Liverpool defence.
Both Almiron and Wilson are known for causing problems as well with each getting fouled at least 1.30 times per 90 mins. If Gordon starts, then expect Liverpool to target the former Everton man who signed on a big money move last month.
Match-Ups to watch
Joe Gomez vs Alexander Isak
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Allan St Maximin
Fabinho vs Miguel Almiron
My bet builder picks of the pack
We’ve got a cracking game on our hands here, and I’ve picked out some selections below, with the help of my stats pack, that you should be keeping an eye on in this one.
Newcastle vs Liverpool
Darwin Nunez averages 5.59 shots P/90. The Uruguayan has managed at least 3 in each of his last 5.
Newcastle concede 10.50 shots P/90.
Newcastle games average 11.13 corners. They average 6.95 for, and 4.18 against P/90.
Liverpool matches average 10.10 corners P/90. They average 6.67 for, and 3.43 against P/90.
Kieran Trippier averages 1.15 fouls P/90.
He’ll likely be up against Darwin Nunez or Cody Gakpo, who average 0.93 and 2.43 fouls drawn P/90 respectively.
Trent Alexander-Arnold averages 0.53 fouls P/90 and has been carded 3 times this season.
He’ll be up against electric Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin, who’s fouled 1.55 times P/90.