After an early scare, Liverpool has continued its high-flying style as the Reds host Newcastle at Anfield.
The home crowd is buzzing behind first-half goals from Diogo Jota and (who else) Mohamed Salah that turned the game on its head after Jonjo Shelvey put Newcastle up inside the opening 10 minutes.
Liverpool needs a win to keep pace with Manchester City, who put the pressure on with a demolition of Leeds United two days ago. The Reds got some worrying news pre-match as three players were confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19. That hasn’t been an issue so far through 45 minutes, as the Reds seem to have everything under control at home.
Martin Dubravka and Allan Saint-Maximin have been the lone bright spots for Newcastle on opposite ends of the pitch, but they have little help throughout the rest of the Magpies squad. Eddie Howe may soon have to bring on leading scorer Callum Wilson who was left out of the starting lineup. The Magpies are buried in the relegation zone and need any points they can muster from any corners of the schedule.
MORE: Pep beats Klopp’s record in lopsided win
Sporting News will be following the match live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Liverpool vs. Newcastle live score
7′ – Newcastle: Jonjo Shelvey
21′ – Liverpool: Diogo Jota
25′ – Liverpool: Mohamed Salah
(All times Eastern)
69th minute: Saint-Maximin appears to be ok, winning a free-kick on the far touchline with a nice juggle.
Liverpool prepares for its first 2 substitutions, with Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita readying on the touchline. Jordan Henderson is booked for a clip of Fraser, and Shelvey puts the dangerous free-kick from just outside the top of the box wide.
64th minute: Liverpool has taken the foot off the gas, and Newcastle has a chance. Saint-Maximin, who has had a brilliant game, crossed right to the feet of Fraser, and a critical tackle by Trent Alexander-Arnold draws penalty shouts from Newcastle but Mike Dean shakes his head. VAR has a look but says nothing to report.
Vital tackle from Alexander-Arnold to deny Fraser on the counter.
— Paul Gorst (@ptgorst) December 16, 2021
Saint-Maximin is down, because Newcastle can’t have nice things. He limps off very slowly. He’s back on, but looks to be struggling. Wilson time?
55th minute: Ryan Fraser booked for a foul on Oxlade-Chamberlain. Jacob Murphy fires Newcastle’s third shot of the game wide left, Alisson may have had it covered but it didn’t trouble the Brazilian.
46th minute: The second half is under way, and already Newcastle looks a bit of a mess. Bold strategy, we’ll see how it works out for them! So is Liverpool too, apparently.
Klopp not very happy with Alexander-Arnold after a slack ball into touch. #LFC continue to muddle around in second gear
— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) December 16, 2021
Aside from Jonjo Shelvey’s opener, which gave the visitors hope of an upset, it has been all Liverpool all the time.
From the opening whistle to the halftime break, Liverpool has defended with numbers and attacked with venom. Newcastle itself hasn’t helped, producing a host of errors at the back both in and out of possession to help feed the home side.
It will be a very steep uphill battle for Newcastle to earn a result from this match, but as Shelvey proved inside the opening 10 minutes, it just takes one moment of brilliance to turn the match on its head. That will give Newcastle hope when not much else has.
44th minute: Newcastle’s first touch in the Liverpool half in ages results in Allan Saint-Maximin charging forward dangerously and cutting back across but no teammate is there to meet it. Story of the game for Newcastle since the opener. Two minutes of stoppage time to be added. Joelinton booked for a hard challenge on Salah who was dribbling forward through the Liverpool half, and there was space for a counter.
35th minute: It’s all Liverpool now. Fabian Schar has to make a diving stop to keep a cross from reaching Jota who was streaking alone on net, and then Oxlade-Chamberlain skies the ensuing corner miles over. Then moments later Salah had a glorious chance to go 3-1 up, but he skitters the shot wide left across the face of goal. Beat Dubravka but beat the post.
Feels like a long time ago that Shelvey gave Newcastle the lead.
32 – Liverpool have scored in each of their last 32 games in all competitions, the longest ever scoring run in their history. Flowing. #LIVNEW
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 16, 2021
25th minute: GOAL! Liverpool! Defensive errors ALL OVER the field, on both ends. An awful Shelvey pass gifts Sadio Mane a golden chance which Dubravka saves very well, and then Mo Salah delivers the follow-up – which to be fair, Dubravka nearly saved again.
That’s the fifth straight road game at Newcastle which Mo Salah has scored in. Liverpool has turned the game on its head.
With that goal, Mo Salah equals Jamie Vardy’s record of scoring or assisting in 15 successive PL games. #LIVNEW
— Alistair Magowan (@alistairmagowan) December 16, 2021
23rd minute: What an entertaining match this has been. Thiago has been terrible, giving the ball away again that allows Allan Saint-Maximin straight through on goal, but Alisson makes an enormous save to keep the game level.
21st minute: GOAL! Liverpool! Controversy for sure. Off a corner, Diogo Jota saw his initial header saved at the near post by Dubravka, but put the rebound in. Newcastle had two players down, most notably Isaac Hayden, and the Magpies are FURIOUS about the goal being allowed and the game not stopped, as Hayden was the man who would have marked Jota and the reason the goalscorer was so open to meet the cross from Sadio Mane. Either way, Mike Dean allows the goal, and it’s level.
We aren’t in the business of speculating injuries, but Hayden appeared to be *fine* just moments later.
19th minute: It’s not happening for Liverpool in the final third at the moment. Jota has a tiny window on the break but can’t get the left-footed shot on target and hits the side netting. The Reds are dominating possession and racking up the shots but at this point haven’t truly threatened Dubravka’s net.
14th minute: Jamal Lewis is down having grabbed the back of his right leg, possibly a hamstring problem. There isn’t a natural left-back replacement on the bench for Newcastle, and it is wing-back/winger Matt Ritchie to come on for the first substitute of the game, forced via injury. Ritchie has Salah to contend with for 75 minutes…
9th minute: Sadio Mane hits the post, but the offside flag is up. After a cagey first five minutes, this game has sprung to life. Peacock TV feed appears to be working now.
7th minute: GOAL! Newcastle! Thiago gives the ball away and Jonjo Shelvey opens the scoring with a blistering 25-yard strike in front of the Kop. Alisson was completely rooted to the spot. A shock lead for the visitors who have had hardly a touch on the ball to this point. Newcastle could get a massive boost in the relegation battle with a result here at Anfield.
5th minute: The match is under way, although nobody can watch in the U.S. because it would seem Peacock TV is down. We’ll update as information is given. Meanwhile, Liverpool has the first chance of the match as a clever backheel from Mo Salah finds Diogo Jota but Martin Dubravka saves.
2:58 p.m. ET: The fans are ready at Anfield. But the Imperial March is soon on hand to drown things out. Lol.
Then the Premier League anthem ruins it all.
— Ian Doyle (@IanDoyleSport) December 16, 2021
2:38 p.m. ET: Liverpool warming up minus a few players ruled out due to COVID-19. Newcastle not out on the pitch just now, but will be ready to go as well. Have a look:
2:06 p.m. ET: Lineups are in.
For Liverpool, van Dijk indeed misses after testing positive for COVID-19, as Ibrahima Konate comes in to center-back and Joe Gomez makes the bench. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has been used up front of late, slides back into midfield with Fabinho out, preferred over Naby Keita and James Milner who both remain on the bench.
Newcastle does slide a struggling Miguel Almiron to the bench, but not in favor of the three-CB system as we thought might happen. Instead, a more traditional lineup sees Ryan Fraser get his first start of December.
1:58 p.m. ET: That jinx barely even took 10 minutes. Liverpool announces three players will miss today’s match due to COVID-19. This could be significant not just today but moving forward for Liverpool. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds did not apply for the game to be postponed as they do not, at this point, view the situation as an “outbreak.”
Fabinho, Curtis Jones and Virgil van Dijk will miss tonight’s Premier League fixture against Newcastle United after registering suspected positive tests for COVID-19.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 16, 2021
1:46 p.m. ET: Liverpool (at the risk of a big jinx) has to this point avoided a COVID-19 outbreak that other Premier League teams are beginning to fall victim to. Part of the reason is Jurgen Klopp’s hard stance on vaccination. A report this morning stated that 25% of EFL players polled stated they had no plans to get vaccinated, which could cause a problem for clubs as the Omicron variant pushes through Europe. Klopp, meanwhile, has championed this narrative for quite a while now, and it has resonated with the squad and staff.
1:30 p.m. ET: Here’s one player who’d love to get in on the scoring action. The six games without a goal or assist is across all competitions.
Sadio Mane is currently on a streak of 6 games without a goal or assist, which is 1 off his longest run without a goal contribution for Liverpool, when he went 7 games in October and November of 2018.
Can he turn it around tonight against Newcastle? pic.twitter.com/YS2RQIR0XH
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) December 16, 2021
11:48 a.m. ET: Liverpool’s scoring today, right? Only question is how many:
? STAT: Liverpool have scored in 25 consecutive home matches against Newcastle – a Premier League-record run, while they have found the net in 38 of the last 39 in the top flight at Anfield. #awlive [lfc] pic.twitter.com/ObVNjy548V
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 16, 2021
Liverpool vs. Newcastle lineups
Liverpool starting lineup (4-3-3, left to right): Alisson (GK) — Robertson, Konate, Matip, Alexander-Arnold — Thiago, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain — Mane, Jota, Salah
Liverpool subs (9): Kelleher (GK) – Pitaluga, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Gomez, Minamino, Tsimikas, Williams.
Newcastle projected starting lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): Dubravka (GK) — Manquillo, Lascelles, Schar, Lewis — Hayden, Shelvey, Frasier, Murphy — Saint-Maximin, Joelinton
Newcastle subs (9): Darlow (GK) – Clark, Wilson, Ritchie, Hendrick, Almiron, Willock, Gayle, Longstaff.
How to watch Liverpool vs. Newcastle
- Date: Thursday, Dec. 16
- Time: 3 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: — None —
- Streaming: Peacock (subscription required)
The Liverpool vs. Newcastle match is available exclusively on NBC’s streaming platform, Peacock, with no television coverage in the United States.
The subscription to Peacock Premium costs users $4.99 a month and it comes with a full schedule of exclusive Premier League matches.
Pre-match betting lines, picks & predictions
Odds courtesy of DraftKings
The bookmakers are eyeing a blowout in this one, and understandably so. Liverpool has obliterated almost everyone in its wake this season…until recently.
The Reds fell to West Ham in early November, and a few weaknesses have sprung up since then. They bounced back wonderfully, putting four goals past each of Arsenal, Southampton, and Everton, but they have slogged to a pair of 1-0 wins in their last two matches against defensively stout teams in Wolves and Aston Villa.
Newcastle cannot claim to categorize itself as “defensively stout” as the Magpies haven’t kept a single clean sheet this entire Premier League season. Still, this could be an opportunity for Klopp to rest some tired legs. However, it does appear possible to take advantage of the oddsmakers love for Liverpool and jump on a few plus odds in favor of Newcastle keeping things close, while still expecting Liverpool to come away with all three points.
Backing Mohamed Salah also seems ideal, with the Egyptian in spectacular form. Salah has scored or assisted a goal in every single Premier League game this season save one from way back in August. His anytime-scorer odds are worthless, but first-goalscorer odds look enticing enough, especially if Klopp again selects Oxlade-Chamberlain as the central striker. If Jota returns to the lineup, he is one to eye as well, having scored six goals in his last eight starts.
Pick : Newcastle +2.5 (-105), Salah first goalscorer (+200)
Prediction : Liverpool 2-0 Newcastle
- Moneyline : Liverpool -900 / Draw +950 / Newcastle +2200
- Spread : Liverpool -2.5 (-105) / Newcastle +2.5 (-105)
- O/U 3.5 total goals : Over -130 / Under +105
- Both teams to score : Yes +110 / No -145