Newcastle United vs LiverpoolEnglish Premier League, KO: 19:45 May 4, 2019, St.James' Park
RAFAEL Benitez famously inspired Liverpool to European euphoria 14 years ago in Istanbul, but he could now deliver a fatal blow to the Reds hopes of landing the Premier League crown that they so desperately crave.
The bookies would beg to differ with Newcastle 9/1 (UniBet) shots to shatter scouse dreams on Saturday night. Even the draw at 17/4 (Bet 365) would almost certainly ruin the Reds title challenge, therefore Liverpool are naturally as short as 4/11 with most firms to leave Tynside top of the table.
The Magpies have however won six of their last seven at St.James' – and one of those triumphs came against Liverpool's title rivals Manchester City. That fine of run of form in the North-East coupled with some notable results on the road has seen Rafe Benitez comfortably steer the Geordies to Premier League safety.
The Toon Army have been a tough nut to crack since the turn of the year so they could trouble a Liverpool team who simply must bounce back only 72 hours after a 3-0 beating in Barcelona.
That midweek Messi masterclass was Liverpool's first loss in 20 matches, however Jurgen Klopp's side did put in a good showing in the Camp Nou and the Reds really should have registered that all important away goal.
It's very rare for Klopp's men not to hit the net and with the destination of the title still in the balance the Anfiled side should be at full strength for their penultimate league game of the season. As such Liverpool should rediscover their shooting boots against inferior opposition in the shape of Newcastle United.
However, given the demands of Liverpool's battle in Barcelona, as well as the fact that their fresher opponents have scored a minimum of two goals in in their last six wins at St James', I like the look of backing Both Teams To Score at 11/10 (Boyle Sports)
In conjunction with that there could well be value should you choose to divert into the card market. Shutting out Liverpool's frightening front three is a tall order for any side and Newcastle centre half Fabian Schar will find that out first hand on Saturday night.
The Swiss stopper has been booked 11 times so far this season and is an attractive 5/2 (Paddy Power) to find his way into the referees book once again.
Schar however does form part of the seventh best backline in the division and I have sneaky suspicion that the Reds rotten record at Newcastle will continue with catastrophic consequences for Klopp's side.
Liverpool have not left St. James' with all three points since 2013 and although Rafa Benitez has never beaten his former side, the Spaniard could sensationally be the man to master their Premier League downfall. A nightmare in Newcastle could lie ahead for Liverpool and siding with the Geordies on the Double Chance is tempting at 47/20 (UniBet)
This English Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool will be played on May 4, 2019 and kick off at 19:45