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Newcastle will host Premier League champions Liverpool on Wednesday night where the visitors could open a five-point gap at the top of the table.

The Reds are currently at the top of the table and are unbeaten in their last 11 league games, but recent injuries have made life a bit more difficult than expected in recent weeks.

Life is not so rosy in the northeast. Newcastle sit in 14th place and could climb a few places with a shock victory, but fans remain unhappy with Steve Bruce and his lack of attacking ambition as head coach.

Here is 90 minsoverview of the clash

When does the kick-off take place? Tuesday, December 29
What time is the kick-off? 8:00 p.m. (GMT)
Where is it played? Saint-James Park
TV channel / live broadcast? Amazon Prime Video
Arbitrator? Paul tierney

Liverpool have just appointed Dr Andreas Schlumberger as their new recovery and performance manager, which tells you everything you need to know about the Reds’ hectic match schedule and injury issues.

Longtime absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain out of action, while Joel Matip is also likely to be unavailable after suffering an injury in the 1-1 draw with West Brom. Rhy Williams seems ready to replace Matip.

Neco Williams could also win a start as Jurgen Klopp rotates to keep his squad cool. James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara have all returned to training for the Reds and could figure as well, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also pushing to start.

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago could return after more than two months of absence with knee injury | Michael Regan / Getty Images

For Newcastle, Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamaal Lascelles remain unavailable as they continue to feel the effects of testing positive for COVID-19.

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is still healing a long-term injury, and Jonjo Shelvey and Ryan Fraser are dubious.

Otherwise, Bruce has the choice of a full squad.

Newcastle: Darlow; Krafth, Fernandez, Schar, Clark, Lewis; Murphy, M. Longstaff, Hayden, Joelinton; Wilson.

Liverpool: Alisson; N. Williams, R. Williams, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Callum Wilson, Matt Ritchie, DeAndre Yedlin
Callum Wilson is Newcastle’s only consistent goal threat | Pool / Getty Images

The Magpies find themselves in a rut after failing to win one of their last four games in all competitions.

Creativity remains a serious issue and with Saint-Maximin still absent due to COVID-19, that doesn’t seem to change anytime soon. Bruce still doesn’t know how to get the most out of Miguel Almiron either, which means it’s up to Callum Wilson to find the goods.

Wilson is the only player to have won any of his last three games and leads the club’s scoring table with eight goals in 14 appearances, and is undoubtedly expected to produce again despite limited serve against the Champions.

Liverpool were shocked by a draw by a West Brom side now led by none other than Sam Allardyce over the weekend. Sadio Mane’s strike in the first half wasn’t enough and not taking risks defeated them to a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

Sadio mane
Liverpool foot slipped gas against West Brom | Stu Forster / Getty Images

Here’s how each team has performed in their last five games.

Newcastle
Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle (12/26)
Brentford 1-0 Newcastle (22/12)
Newcastle 1-1 Fulham (19/12)
Leeds United 5-2 Newcastle (16/12)
Newcastle 2-1 West Brom (12/12)

Liverpool
Liverpool 1-1 West Brom (27/12)
Crystal Palace 0-7 Liverpool (19/12)
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham (16/12)
Fulham 1-1 Liverpool (13/12)
Midtjylland 1-1 Liverpool (9/12)

A statement performance against the Reds would do wonders in boosting the morale of Newcastle players and fans.

But considering how good Liverpool are, it seems … well …unlikely.

Jurgen klopp
Liverpool won’t rest until they correct weekend flaw | Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Buckle up, Newcastle fans, because it’s going to be a long evening.

Prediction: Newcastle 0-3 Liverpool

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