Jurgen Klopp has joked that Liverpool will play a totally new style of football against Newcastle United in order to confuse their analyst, Mark Leyland.
Leyland left Liverpool to join Newcastle in December and their results have improved dramatically since. Asked for his thoughts on Newcastle’s upturn in form during his pre-match press conference via Liverpool FC on YouTube, Klopp placed the credit at Leyland’s door.
“They are on an incredible run eh?” said Klopp. “They are in a really good moment. Eddie plays a massive part in it. They signed one of our analysts which for sure is a big part. Mark, if you see this – we play completely different now!”
Klopp was obviously joking, the boss was generally in a great mood following his new contract announcement yesterday.
But with Newcastle in such good form, the presence of someone who had inside knowledge of Liverpool as recently as December is a slight worry.
Lunchtime kick-off may benefit Liverpool
Tomorrow’s game is going to be a real test of Liverpool’s mettle. As Klopp mentions, Newcastle are in supreme form, especially at St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe’s side have won their last six games in-front of their own fans and are unbeaten in eight in total.
While it’s true that they haven’t faced a side anywhere near as good as Liverpool during that run, the positivity is back on Tyneside. When the crowd’s tails are up it can be a really difficult atmosphere to get a result in.
Liverpool tried to get this fixture moved to a later time after their midweek exploits in the Champions League. But ironically, the lunchtime kick-off may actually help The Reds.
As fervent as the Newcastle support can be, it is much more difficult for any crowd to get up for a Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
Liverpool will hope that there are a few Geordies still struggling to wake up as they kick off tomorrow.
Should The Reds manage to pick up the three points, all the pressure will be on Manchester City who go to Leeds United in the 5.30 kick-off.
As Liverpool may enjoy the unintended benefit of the early game, City may find the Leeds crowd whipped up and ready to go in the evening.
Another big week lies in wait for Liverpool. Nothing but three points will do on Tyneside.