May 10, 2014, 12:25 AM EDT
- Newcastle haven’t won in their last 18 league visits to Anfield, a run back to 1994
- Luis Suarez needs one goal to set the new Premier League single-season player scoring record of 31
- Liverpool require a win and Manchester City loss to win the Premier League title
Two weeks ago, Liverpool were on top of the world. Now, it may just slip entirely out of their hands.
Despite what happens with the 2014 title race, the Reds will have completed an unbelievable season when the final whistle blows at Anfield, the final whistle after their 10:00am ET kick against Newcastle, live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
However, Brendan Rodgers will still keep his sights set on the championship trophy when Liverpool take on Newcastle in their season finale. A win and a Manchester City loss would give the Reds the ultimate prize, no matter how unlikely.
Newcastle dispatched relegated Cardiff City last week, but have six straight prior to that. It will be an interesting fixture for Liverpool, as Newcastle have more to play for than may meet the eye.
With Liverpool’s minds possibly preoccupied with the result at the Etihad, the Magpies could be playing for their manager’s future. The ugly finish to the season could doom Alan Pardew, and having been the manager at Newcastle for four seasons now (an eternity in the top flight these days), the players could look to save his job.
The Reds will have some reinforcements returning to their ranks for the final performance. Jordan Henderson will return from a three-match absence due to suspension, and Philippe Coutinho should be fit after coming off the bench in the draw with Crystal Palace last week.
What they’re saying:
Rodgers on Liverpool’s title chances: “The expectancy is – without being disrespectful to West Ham – that Manchester City will win…We can only take care of ourselves and if we do our job I’ll be happy. We need to win our game and then see where we finish up. We have a 5% chance of winning the league on Sunday. That’s the same chance the statistics guys will tell you we had at the beginning of the season. We are somewhere no-one expected us to be. It’s been a huge success for us – an incredible season. We are getting ready to finish the season well and to celebrate putting Liverpool back on the world footballing map.”
Pardew on his job this season: “I haven’t been good enough and the results have followed. I obviously let myself down on the touchline for sure so that’s an area I have looked to improve and I think I have made some strides with that. I think I’ve made some calls this year where I could have been a bit more positive tactically.”
It’s possible Liverpool have already been dealt a deathblow, and they come out flat against Newcastle. But with the Magpies struggling mightily, it will be hard for them to overcome a quality team that simply stumbled – as all teams have this year – at simply the wrong time. There’s a slight possibility they can still come up with a miracle, but whatever happens Rodgers will have them primed to give the home fans a fantastic send off at Anfield. Liverpool will win a cool 2-0 and Luis Suarez will take home the Premier League scoring record – by two, with a brace. How’s that for a bold prediction? Ok, I guess it’s not that bold.
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