A couple of weeks ago most people were tipping this match to be a title celebration, with Liverpool regarded as huge favourites for the championship just a short time ago. Instead, it’s likely to be a day of disappointment and regret at Anfield, with the Reds knowing that their plight is completely out of their own hands as they host a Newcastle side who reside in 9th position.
You would have struggled to find a Liverpool supporter who wouldn’t have snapped your hand off with the offer of a 2nd place finish at the start of the season. However, with just one game to go, expectations are now completely different and most fans will still be hurting after their side have thrown crucial points away over the last few weeks. The loss to Chelsea was undoubtedly the result that hurt them the most, although a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace all but confirmed that they would be consigned to a runner-up finish this term. Of course, there is still work to do to ensure this and with Chelsea trailing them by two points, they know that they must end strongly to not only preserve the slight glimmer of hope they have for the title, but also to hold the Blues off.
While most of the talk will be about Liverpool on the day, let’s not forget that this could also be Alan Pardew’s final match in charge of Newcastle. The Magpies might be sat in a respectable 9th position, but it’s been another turbulent campaign for the St James’ Park outfit and there are suspicions that Pardew will be replaced in the summer following countless supporter protests. The club did manage to put a stop to a horrendous six game losing run in their last match, after overcoming Cardiff in comfortable 3-0 fashion. However, having lost their last four games on the road, it looks unlikely that they’ll be able to build on that defeat in the season finale.
Liverpool have been handed a boost for this game with Jordan Henderson poised to be involved in some capacity after missing the last three matches through suspension. That’s all the Reds have to report though and it remains to be seen whether Brendan Rodgers will make changes following recent dropped points. Newcastle on the other hand approach the clash with numerous concerns. Papiss Cisse is the most high-profile player who will miss out following knee surgery, but there also won’t be places for Davide Santon and Adam Armstrong due to injury and international duty respectably.
As for a prediction, we think Liverpool will return to winning ways this Sunday. It won’t be enough for them to lift the title, but backed by a vocal Anfield our tip is going to be a 2-0 win for Brendan Rodgers’ side.