Liverpool vs Newcastle UnitedEnglish Premier League, KO: 12:30 Sep 14, 2019, Anfield
LIVERPOOL have made a pretty flawless start in their quest to land the one prize they crave more than anything else – the Premier League title.
Buoyed by the confidence boost of being crowned as champions of Europe, Jurgen Klopp's side have racked up four successive wins on league duty.
That left them top of the pile heading into the international break, two points clear of Manchester City in what promises to be yet another thrilling two-horse race for the crown.
The only downside for the Reds so far has been a few defensive frailties, with only one clean sheet in six matches across all competitions. They kept 21 in the league last season, topping the shut-out charts, but have so far only managed to keep Burnley at bay.
Sparkling forward play has more than made up for those problems at the back and Liverpool were ruthless in that Turf Moor win. It would have been an even more emphatic win had Mo Salah set up Sadio Mane for a tap-in instead of going it alone and missing the target.
That led to a memorable strop from the Senegalese forward after he was subbed at Turf Moor and there doesn't seem to be a great deal of harmony between the two star forwards at Anfield.
They reportedly made peace in the changing room after the game and Klopp will be hoping there's no more bad blood on the pitch. Ladbrokes are offering a cheeky bet for the visit of Newcastle, paying 13/2 if Liverpool score four and Salah sets up one of the strikes for Mane.
But I'll be steering clear of that one as the Magpies have been pretty resolute at the back under Steve Bruce. They were a shambles at Norwich when they lost 3-1 but in every other game Newcastle have conceded just one goal or fewer.
They shut out Spurs on the road and although Liverpool offer more attacking threat, I can't see this one turning into a rout. Players are often a bit leggy in the game after an international break so this could be reasonably tight.
Even though Klopp's side have been suspect at the back, I can see them keeping a clean sheet in this one as the Magpies will come to frustrate. A home win to nil is 5/6 with BetVictor and that looks like a shrewd enough investment.
Boylesports have some interesting price boosts for this one and I'm drawn to the 8/1 on offer for Virgil van Dijk to score a header. An assist for Trent Alexander-Arnold could also pay off nicely at 3/1.
This English Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United will be played on Sep 14, 2019 and kick off at 12:30