Liverpool vs Newcastle: Firmino vs Lascelles and other key battles which could decide the outcome

Liverpool have got off to the perfect start in the 2019-20 season, winning all four of their Premier League matches, scoring 12 goals and conceding just 3. The Reds have an easy fixture – at least on paper – this Saturday, when they face Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United side.

The Merseyside club will most likely dominate the game, and it will be attack vs defence in the game which could see Newcastle have 10 men behind the ball for major portions of the match.


Roberto Firmino vs Jamaal Lascelles

Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has been in fine form this season, scoring twice and assisting twice in the four Premier League games. Firmino has linked up well with his fellow forwards, dropped deep to link up play, as well as assisted the midfield in recovering the ball when they have lost it.

He will be up against a reliable and strong defender in Jamaal Lascelles in the Newcastle United backline. Lascelles is perhaps the Magpies’ best defender, who is a no-nonsense operator who clears the ball at every opportunity while also leading his backline with aplomb. Lascelles has to be at the top of his game for Newcastle United to have any chance of winning a point against Liverpool.

Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Christian Atsu

Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has continued his phenomenal form from last season, already registering two assists in the first four games. The English right-back will have a lot of opportunities to bomb forward against Newcastle as the Magpies are bound to sit back and defend.

This means that he could very well be playing as a right-winger rather than a right-back. Alexander-Arnold will mostly be up against Christian Atsu on the Liverpool right, where Atsu’s main job will be to mark the runs of the English defender.

Mohamed Salah vs Jetro Willems

We could see Liverpool attacking a lot through the right and the chief tormentor will be Mohamed Salah. Salah could take on Newcastle left-back Jetro Willems in the game, and drift inwards to create space for Alexander-Arnold to attack into, while also taking shots on goal and creating chances for Firmino and Sadio Mane.

Willems will face Salah for the first time and he could be in for a tough day on Saturday.

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