After England secured their place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, attention now returns to the domestic scene as Newcastle restart the Premier League schedule with a tough home game against Liverpool.

The last time the teams met was at the back end of last season, when Brendan Rodgers’ side battered the Geordies into submission and ran out 6-0 winners. This time round, the Reds are flying high once again and are behind table-topping Arsenal only on goal difference.

Luis Suarez seems to have picked up where he left off for the Merseysiders, netting against Sunderland on his first appearance since completing a 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic and looking at his unplayable best at times.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have been hit by the news that captain Fabricio Coloccini will miss the game after picking up a groin injury while away with Argentina and Jonas Gutierrez will also be absent.

That leaves Alan Pardew with a defensive headache as he must choose two from Mike Wiliamson, Steven Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, with the latter severely out of form and favour recently.

Despite Newcastle’s most recent battering by Liverpool, the Magpies could record their third win in four games if they won tomorrow.

England defender Glen Johnson is expected to be involved after recovering from injury for Liverpool, while Aly Cissokho and Joe Allen are also closing in on returns and could see some action. Brazilian maestro Philippe Coutinho is also back in training but should miss out.

Steven Gerrard – fresh after scoring England’s second goal against Poland on Tuesday night – needs one more goal to reach a century of Premier League goals. Seven of those have came against Newcastle and on every occasion on which the midfielder has netted, his side have triumphed.

A win for Newcastle would give them huge momentum going into next week’s local derby with Sunderland, while Liverpool taking three points would put them top of the Premier League for a few hours at least, before Arsenal kick off against Norwich at 3pm.