After last week’s lucky last-gasp winner from the backside of Papiss Cisse, Newcastle United return to Premier League action tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Merseyside to take on Liverpool. A win for the Magpies could see them rise as high as 6th place in the table, but they will have to overcome a shocking record at Anfield in order to do so.

The last time the Geordies won in the red half of Merseyside, it was 1995 and Steve Watson scored the only goal in a League Cup clash. The last league victory for Newcastle was in 1993, when Rob Lee and Andy Cole found the net in a 2-0 win. In fact, the last time a black and white shirt found the back of the net at Anfield, it was courtesy of Dutch flop Patrick Kluivert in 2004 (note that last season Newcastle’s goal was an own goal).

However, although stats are firmly stacked in favour of Brendan Rodgers’ side, form is not. Liverpool have been disappointing under the former Swansea manager and languish in the lower half of the table. To rub salt into the wound, Swansea – under the guidance of Michael Laudrup after Rodgers left for Liverpool – were the ones who ended Liverpool’s defence of the Capital One Cup in midweek, leaving Rodgers under pressure to get things right.

Throw into the mix the ongoing controversies surrounding Luis Suarez, Rodgers’ team selections and former players playing against their old clubs and there is a healthy mix of potential headline makers heading into tomorrow’s game.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew’s main worry is the fitness of top scorer Demba Ba, who is struggling with injury but is expected to play some part. Papiss Cisse is still out of form, although scoring without knowing anything about it last week could be the turning point of the former Freiburg striker’s season.

Pardew is definitely without Cheick Tiote, who serves the second of a three match ban, as well as Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic and Dan Gosling, who are all injured.

As for Liverpool, they could be boosted by the return of goalkeeper Jose Reina, who is set to return from injury. One man breathing a sigh of relief will be Jose Enrique, who ended up in goal the last time his former and current employers met. Speaking of Enrique, the Spanish left-back will likely be on bench-warming duty again, as he has been displaced in the team by teenager Andre Wisdom. How times change ey, Jose?

Only Reading have left Anfield as a beaten side this season, meaning now could be the time for Newcastle to overturn their awful record. Despite the Liverpool hierarchy knowing that it could take time for Rodgers to settle into life on the Mersey, a win for the Magpies may turn up the heat on the expectant home crowd.

By Chief Sports Writer, Marley Anderson