After picking up a rare away point against West Bromwich Albion last week, Newcastle United return to Premier League action as they take on Liverpool in their penultimate home game.

Saturday’s late game is a chance for the Magpies to take a step closer to relegation, as the battle to beat the drop enters its final few weeks.

With QPR and Reading seemingly already doomed to another season in the Championship, the third relegation place looks like a battle between Wigan and Aston Villa, although Newcastle are only three points ahead of the Villans with four games left.

Liverpool look to have missed the boat for the battle for fourth and fifth place this year and are not helped by the big football news this week. Luis Suarez is out for the rest of the season, having been hit with a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

That makes Newcastle’s job significantly easier tomorrow tea time, although the fine form of Daniel Sturridge is another worry that Alan Pardew will have to deal with. The former Chelsea man will likely take Suarez’s place in the Reds starting line-up and be charged with filling the Uruguayan’s boots.

As Liverpool prepare for life without their star man, Newcastle could welcome theirs back.

Hatem Ben Arfa is closing in on a starting place after months of hamstring injury and a series of cameo appearances and tomorrow could be the time to unleash the Frenchman from kick-off.

Should he not be risked, Pardew has no new injury worries ahead of the clash and Yoan Gouffran and Jonas Gutierrez will continue on the flanks.

Tim Krul, Davide Santon and Sylvain Marveaux are all injured but Cheick Tiote should return. Fabricio Coloccini is close to a comeback also, but will require another week or two to make a first-team return.

Other than Suarez’s ban, Brendan Rodgers has a strong squad to choose from and Steven Gerrard will be available despite a shoulder problem. The England Captain will have surgery on a long-term injury in the summer, allowing him to see out the remainder of the league campaign before going under the knife.

Such as the tightness at the bottom of the Premier League table, a favourable run of results could see Newcastle move as high as 11th, while a poor run could see them stay just three clear of Wigan and Villa with three games to go.