Reds should do the necessary against the Magpies.
Anfield will be packed to the rafters but, barring a miracle at the Etihad, Liverpool fans won’t be celebrating a first title in 20 years even if their team does the bare minimum in claiming all three points against Newcastle United.
Their collapse at Crystal Palace last week and Manchester City’s midweek victory over Aston Villa means that Manuel Pellegrini’s team need just a draw from their final match with West Ham to regain the Premier League crown, such is their massive goal difference.
Yaya Toure’s injury-time strike on Wednesday brought the ton up for City in goals scored but Liverpool only need another one against Newcastle to match them. The trouble is, they’ve conceded 12 more than City over the season and, though games against the Magpies are rarely short of goals, it might be asking too much for Suarez and Sturridge to break the dozen even though their opponents have been mentally on the beach for a while now.
That said, United did finally halt a six-match losing run at home to doomed Cardiff last week but there is no getting away from the fact that St James’ Park is going to witness a major overhaul this summer – and we don’t mean a lick of paint!
Manager Alan Pardew managed to survive by the skin of his teeth this season but owner Mike Ashley will probably review the situation in the next few weeks. Pardew has hardly endeared himself to the Geordies over the last few months and Newcastle looks a club in need of a good shake-up. There appears to be very little direction and their form fell apart after Yohann Cabaye was sold to PSG in January. But, despite all that, they are still going to finish in the top half of the table so they’ve had a better overall campaign than at least 10 teams!
There are always goals when Liverpool play Newcastle. It’s 40 years since the sides played out a goalless draw and they shared four goals on Tyneside in October. United took a point from Anfield last season but that was their first in 10 years and it’s hard to see them having the motivation to spoil the Reds’ seasonal swansong this weekend.
Brendan Rodgers’ squad have enjoyed a season that’s exceeded all expectations and they’ll be playing Champions League in the autumn but there will be still be a sense of disappointment around Anfield at the final whistle should Manchester City get the point they need against the Hammers.
The Reds look a shoe-in to get the three points they need but are only 1/5 and just 1/2 to overcome a goal deficit on the handicap. Liverpool have won three of the last five meetings between the sides at Anfield by a 3-0 score-line and another ended 3-1. The Reds can be backed at 8/15 to score three or more this weekend but that probably won’t be enough.
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