With the EPL returning after the early-season international break, the first live game early doors is Liverpool v Newcastle in Anfield at 12:30.
The international break traditionally caught some of the bigger teams on the hop with their star-studded squads having to travel far and wide to represent their respective national sides, meaning an unwanted fatigue level was added before the rough and tumble of an early kick-off in their domestic leagues.
This isn’t the case anymore with sides like Liverpool, even though 17 members of the Liverpool squad were away on international duty – there has been no drop off in league form after recent international breaks.
Many of their first-team players were still training at Melwood during the break with some even deciding to skip Euro Qualifiers to nail down a starting spot in Liverpool first 11.
Newcastle haven’t notched a win vs Liverpool in the league since late 2015 with goals from then-future Liverpool player Gini Wijnaldum and an OG from Martin Skrtel giving the Magpies a 2-0 victory.
With Steve Bruce replacing Rafa Benitez in a surprise move this off-season, Newcastle’s season looks to be one fighting their way against the bottom while this weekend’s opponents plan to be fighting their way to the top.
The match odds look restrictive even though at a similar price Newcastle (18/1) did cause an upset away at Spurs just three weeks ago. I don’t feel that anything close to this is on the cards this weekend and think Liverpool (1/8) will continue their march on the league.
I do however hold the worry of the goalkeeping situation for Liverpool and can see Newcastle scoring at least one goal, which I’d expect to be early. This leads me to put up Both teams to score in the first half at 7/2.
Liverpool should stretch away from Newcastlethough, running out comfortable victors here and with Mané is decent scoring form – four in his last four games including a brace against Chelsea in the Super Cup final – a play on Sadio Mané to score two or more goals at 10/3 is one I’m also keen on.