Three reasons why Liverpool need to beat Newcastle
Sam Rogers looks at why Liverpool are facing a must-win trip to Newcastle United on Sunday
Massive need for momentum ahead of Bernabeau trip
After struggling in all competitions, Liverpool face a massive week in the context of their season already. Despite being unbeaten in the league in four outings, the Reds are nine points behind Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side so cannot afford to let that gap widen any further. The biggest problem for Liverpool is their European future is hanging by a thread after a rough time in the Champions League so far. They face the very real prospect of having to go to the Santiago Bernabeau to face resurgent Real Madrid needing to get a result. No mean feat for a side that were made to witness a footballing masterclass from the defending champions at Anfield on matchday three. Working on the assumption that the hosts do finish with all three points, Liverpool could find themselves needing to beat Basel and Ludogorets just to get second place in the group. A win against Newcastle could provide Liverpool with some much needed momentum ahead of the Madrid trip.
Defeat could spark free fall for the Reds
If Liverpool fail to get three points against Newcastle, it could be a couple of weeks before they pick up any points. Following their trip to St James’ Park, and their less than optimistic chances in Madrid, Liverpool host league leaders Chelsea who look the real deal in terms of the title race. Their next game after that is a trip to Selhurst Park, where they famously threw away a three-goal lead against Crystal Palace last season. If they fail to pick up points before the trip to south-east London, there will be severe amounts of pressure on Rodgers’ side – pressure he and his players may not be able to handle.
Knives will start to be sharpened by fans lofty expectations
After a season no Liverpool fan really expected, this campaign would have started with plenty of optimism and belief. With the departure of their key player Luis Suarez and the acquisition of a host of new players, Liverpool have struggled to gel as a side, with misfiring frontman Mario Balotelli leaving faithful Kopites rightfully frustrated. The prospect of a first foray in the Champions League for five years intensified the optimism and an early exit in Europe, coupled with less than positive form in the league, could see Rodgers in deep trouble. The dream of last season could rapidly turn into a nightmare for Liverpool fans in what could become a very long campaign for the Reds.