Jurgen Klopp’s psychological Liverpool advantage ahead of crunch clash with Newcastle

Liverpool’s Premier League pursuit is showing no signs of slowing down, although many consider this weekend’s trip to Newcastle United as one of their biggest remaining tests.

Jurgen Klopp’s men navigated tricky home league fixtures against old foes Manchester United and Everton last week to make it 12 wins from their last 13 league matches, dropping points only against title rivals Manchester City during that time.

While fixtures against United and Everton tend to carry plenty of emotion for Liverpool and their fans, the reality was that both those teams came into the clashes low on confidence and form, meaning it was no huge surprise that Liverpool had too much for them.

Newcastle United though have been flying under Eddie Howe in recent months and in fact, it’s only Liverpool who have accumulated more league points than the Toon since the turn of the year.

Their form this year means that relegation is no longer a concern, however Newcastle will still be motivated to keep the mood in the camp high as they push to secure their first top ten finish since the 2017/18 campaign.

A win against Liverpool this weekend could also see the Toon secure a fifth straight Premier League victory for the first time since 2014. Coincidentally that sequence included a 1-0 win over Liverpool.

Ayoze Perez scored the winner the last time Newcastle beat Liverpool back in November 2014 (Ian MacNicol,Ian MacNicol/AFP via Getty Images)

A repeat of that result would be disastrous for Liverpool’s Premier League aspirations and would open the door for Manchester City to finish the weekend four points clear. Therefore with so much riding on the game, Liverpool clearly can’t afford to underestimate their hosts, but there’s a case to be made that their recent form isn’t perhaps as daunting as it looks at first glance.

This is because Newcastle still haven’t shown they’ve got what it takes to overcome the better sides in the division, even despite how many points they’ve picked up in the second half of the campaign.

So far this season, Newcastle have played 11 games against sides currently situated seventh or above in the table, and they failed to win any of those matches (D2, L9). In their last game against such an opponent – Tottenham at the beginning of April – they were well beaten 5-1.

That record indicates that while Newcastle have clearly improved, they’re probably not yet at the stage where they can compete against the league’s best, and there’s no side better on current form than Liverpool.

Already aware that they’ve gone ten league matches since their last defeat to Newcastle, this record against the league’s best should hand Klopp’s men an added psychological boost going into Saturday’s clash.

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