It’s always an occasion when Liverpool square up to Newcastle United and it’ll be more of the same when the Magpies visit Anfield this weekend. There’ll be a friendly face in the opposition dug-out as former Reds boss Rafa Benitez comes to town, but Jurgen Klopp will be all business come Saturday as the German manager looks to not only keep up the pressure on second placed Manchester United, but further solidify our spot in the top-four.
Coming off a 4-1 win over West Ham and a 5-0 thrashing of FC Porto in the Champions League, the Mereseysiders are in an excellent run of form and though vice-captain James Milner could miss out with a slight knock picked up against the Hammers, club captain Jordan Henderson should be back in the starting eleven to fill in the gap.
“Everybody saw Millie got a real knock in the last game. That still hurts a little bit. We will see how that improves. It’s not an injury but it’s a little issue,” said Klopp, speaking to the press ahead of Saturday’s match. “Hendo is fine, he trained completely normally – all good. It was a really good week for him so far, the best for three or four weeks now,” confirmed the Reds boss, before switching his attention to the return of Nathaniel Clyne. “In a very serious situation with no other right-backs, maybe we could bring Clyney because he is a naturally fit boy,” explained the gaffer. “But he has absolutely no rhythm and will need a few more games to be at his best.”
With the second leg of our Champions League tie with Porto just around the corner and a trip to Old Trafford looming next weekend, keeping our winning run going against the Magpies would be the perfect way to roll in to what’s going to be an important week for the Reds. And, really, if nothing more, it’ll give Henderson a chance to resume an old rivalry.
“I’ve been away from Sunderland for a long time now but it’s always in your blood,” said the skipper, a Black Cat alum. “My family are big Sunderland fans,” added Henderson, who is still following his boyhood club. “It’s always nice to play against Newcastle – especially when we win.”