PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Liverpool v Newcastle – follow the action from Anfield as it happens
Follow Sportsmail”s coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Liverpool host Newcastle at Anfield to begin the weekend”s action. The Reds will be aiming to go level with Chelsea in fourth place with three points but they face a Toon side that have got back to winning ways after victory at Bolton.
Liverpool 0 Newcastle 0
Liverpool:Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Henderson, Spearing, Adam, Downing; Bellamy, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Maxi, Kuyt, Gerrard, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.
Newcastle:Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, R Taylor; Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote,Gutierrez; Vuckic; Ba. Subs: Elliot, Santon, Perch, Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Best.
Referee: Lee Probert.
16 mins: There”s a delay as Ryan Taylor receives some treatment on his ankle.
15 mins: Chance! Jose Enrique squared across the goal after being put in on the overlap by Bellamy, but no-one could get on the end of it.
14 mins: Tiote was robbed by Adam on the edge of Newcastle”s box and only a good challenge by Coloccini prevents the games first chance.
13 mins: Vukcic is playing to the left of Tiote – who is at the centre of a three-man central midfield – and not off Ba as I expected. He and Cabaye have licence to bomb on though.
10 mins: The opening 10 minutes comes to an end and if I”m honest, nothing”s happened (cue flurry of goals).
8 mins: Neither side has managed to settle into much of a rhythm yet, Newcastle have a clear plan to slow the game down, though that”s not say they”re sitting back.
6 mins: Agger makes a powerful burst up-field and fires a shot-cum-cross across goal… but it trickles wide.
5 mins: Newcastle are slowing things down with a spell of possession after a fast start from Liverpool.
3 mins: Coloccini appeared to rugby tackle Carroll to the ground there, but Lee Probert waves play on.
2 mins: Early corner for Liverpool. Electric atmosphere inside Anfield.
1 min: Bellamy has started on the left, Downing is on the right and Henderson is playing in front of Spearing and Adam.
1 min: We”re under way at Anfield.
Given a start: Former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll plays for Liverpool
7.43pm: The players come out on to the pitch in a cauldron of an atmosphere. Here we go…
7.41pm: Agreat chance for Liverpool to lay down a marker ahead of a frantic few days in the Premier League. Three points will lift them above Arsenal and level points with Chelsea – putting pressure on the London clubs in their home fixtures tomorrow.
7.32pm: Alittle stat for you: Liverpool have one 14 of the 17 ties between the two sides at Anfield, with Newcastle winning just one. Among those 14 wins were the two brilliant 4-3 wins by the Reds in 1996 and 1997.
7.30pm: Newcastle”ssystem looks like it will be a little more straight forward. We”ll see the usual two banks of four with – Vukcic – who Pardew was raving about in his pre-match interview – playing in behind Ba.
7.28pm: DoesLiverpool”s midfield look a bit weak without Lucas and Gerrard, thoughGoing forward, it will offer plenty, but Dalglish must have been tempted to throw Gerrard in from the start because Liverpool have seriously missed Lucas (who”s have thought we”d be saying that 18 months ago). It”ll be interesting to see how they line, with Bellamy and Downing either side of Carroll in a 4-3-3, or with Bellamy as genuine striker alongside Carroll and Downing and Henderson providing the width. We shall see.
7.17pm: However profligate Liverpool”s strikers have been this season, looking at their bench tonight shows what Kenny Dalglish has done in nearly a year in charge. Their strength in depth is up there with anyone in the league and that will no doubt come in to play more as the season goes on. Mind you, Newcastle”s bench doesn”t look bad either. Hatem Ben Arfa scored a cracker at Bolton and Leon Best never seems far away from creating himself a chance.
7.12pm: So, brace yourselves for what promises to be a thriller… one of the Premier League”s most iconic fixtures between two of its stalwarts. That”s the history, but the context makes this game pretty important too. Just one point and one place separates the two sides, with Liverpool just ahead in sixth place. Andy Carroll starts for Liverpool against his former club in search of a rare goal to kickstart his season, he has replaced Luis Suarez, who serves a one-match ban for improper conduct. Newcastle ended a mini-slump with a 2-0 win at Bolton on Boxing Day, and they will hope to capitalise on the Reds” poor form… Kick-off is at 7.45 tonight, by the way.
BREAKING NEWS: The teams are in. Carroll comes in for the suspended Suarez for Liverpool. Young Slovenian attacking midfielder Haris Vukcic is given his second Premier League start for Newcastle.
Liverpool: Reina; Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Enrique; Henderson, Spearing, Adam, Downing; Bellamy, Carroll. Subs: Doni, Maxi, Kuyt, Gerrard, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.
Newcastle: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, R Taylor; Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez; Vuckic; Ba. Subs: Elliot, Santon, Perch, Ben Arfa, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Best.
Stand and deliver: Andy Carroll will likely be trusted to lead Liverpool”s attack against his former club