Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp declared Newcastle United are on “an incredible run” thanks to Eddie Howe as the pair prepare to meet on Saturday.
The Reds trail Premier League leaders Manchester City by just a point with five league games left to play as the duo battle for the title. Next in the way for Liverpool is Newcastle, who are on a six-game winning run at home, and Klopp knows it will be a tough challenge at St James’ Park.
“They are on an incredible run. Eddie (Howe) has played a massive part,” he said. “They signed one of our analysts (Mark Leyland) which for sure a big part. Mark, if you see this… we play completely different now!”
Klopp also committed his future to Liverpool until 2026 on Thursday, and he believes that will aid their journey as they compete for an unprecedented quadruple this season.
“We feel like we are in the middle of something, not the end of something. When you are in the middle, you want to reach the end and hopefully it will be a sunny place.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle astonishingly sit ninth in the league despite spending 150 days in the relegation zone, but manager Howe appreciates the sizeable task the Reds will pose.
“We know that nothing but our best (Saturday) will be good enough,” he said. “We have to be perfect defensively but we still have to give them a threat the other way. I think we have the players to do that but we need them at their very best levels.
“I think we can attack the game with no fear, play our game and try and impose that onto Liverpool.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Newcastle United – Bruno Guimaraes
Guimaraes has been involved in four goals in his last three Premier League appearances for Newcastle, scoring three and assisting one.
Liverpool – Mohamed Salah
No player has both scored and assisted in more different Premier League games this season than Mohamed Salah (six). No Liverpool player has ever scored and assisted in seven different games in a single Premier League campaign.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Just one of the 53 Premier League meetings between Newcastle and Liverpool have been drawn 0-0. Of all fixtures to have been played at least 40 times in the competition, only Newcastle vs Tottenham Hotspur has finished goalless on fewer occasions (0/54).
– Liverpool have won eight Premier League games against Newcastle after conceding the first goal, at least double the amount they’ve won versus any other side. Indeed, each of their last three victories over the Magpies have seen them concede the first goal within the opening seven minutes.
– Newcastle have won each of their last four Premier League games, keeping three clean sheets in that run. The Magpies haven’t won five consecutive Premier League games since November 2014 under Alan Pardew, a run that included a 1-0 home win against Liverpool.
– This is the latest into a season Newcastle are playing a game when starting the day in the top half of the table since their final game of 2017-18 (10th – 3-0 v Chelsea). This despite the Magpies having spent 150 days in the relegation zone this term.
– Liverpool have taken 37 points from their last 39 available in the Premier League (W12 D1 L0), keeping 10 clean sheets in that run. The Reds’ only dropped points in these 13 games came in a 2-2 draw at league leaders Manchester City.