Liverpool And Newcastle Likely To Play Out Stalemate

By Sam Darby on 29/12/2011 14:53

This fixture has produced some epic encounters over the years, most notably the two 4-3 wins for Liverpool in 1996 and 1997. What Liverpool would give for the ability to score four goals in a match, figures published this week showed that they have the lowest chance conversion ratio in the Premiership and lack of goals is what is likely to cost them a return to the top four this season. Liverpool go into this match one point in front of opponents Newcastle and that represents an over performance for Newcastle up to this stage in the season and an underperformance from Liverpool after spending big in the last twelve months.

Ahead of his eight match ban, which currently stands, Liverpool will be without their top scorer Luis Suarez who serves a separate one match ban for an improper conduct charge following his hand salute to the Fulham fans in Liverpool's loss at Craven Cottage at the beginning of the month. One talisman could soon be replaced by another with Steven Gerrard approaching full fitness, the Liverpool captain came off the bench against Blackburn on Boxing Day after two months out and is likely to start on the bench once again.

Newcastle will soon lose top scorer Demba Ba to African Cup of Nations duty, Senegal have this week confirmed that the striker will be called up to the squad, but he should be available for this game despite picking up a slight knee injury in the win over Bolton. Full back Davide Santon is expected to return after recovering from injury whilst Dan Gosling is also in contention after serving his three match ban.

Liverpool have struggled to score all season even with top scorer Luis Suarez in their side so with the Uruguayan missing there must be a major question mark over their ability to break Newcastle down, especially with Newcastle having kept two clean sheets in the last three matches. Liverpool have the tightest defence in the league having conceded just fourteen goals in eighteen games and the knock Demba Ba picked up against Bolton is a big concern, he has scored five of their last six league goals. This has all the hallmarks of a very low scoring match and although under 2.5 goals looks a very good bet, it could pay to go with no goalscorer in the match at all.

For more betting pointers on these two teams click in the green 'W' next to the teams in the odds matrix. Feel free to add your own wikis, registration is quick and easy, just supply an email address and password. The Liverpool ValueChecker Wikis show a key player for Liverpool in recent seasons and that key player has been below par this season which could explain their lack of goals.