With Hope In Our Hearts: The Newcastle Preview

Jamie McDonald

Coming down to the last day we have two orders of business, but one is vastly more important than the other.

US: 10AM EST-NBC Sports

UK: 5PM GMT-Sky Sports 1

After another heartbreak on Monday against Palace, the main objective now for Brendan Rodgers' men is to go out on a high note, knowing we can be proud of what we've achieved, even if West Ham don't do us a favor.

Jose Enrique is likely to be the only one out of contention through means out of his control. Daniel Sturridge made his full return from injury on Monday, while Jordan Henderson will make his return from suspension. Hendo was sorely missed during the ban, and his return to the midfield on full rest should put fear into the Newcastle team.

Our defensive frailties were our downfall last week, as they have been for most of the season, with Glen Johnson and Mamadou Sakho at the heart of the blame for Palace's comeback. It's something that needs to improve for this match, especially since it's at home.

Luis Suarez has a chance to break the Premier League scoring record for a single season, currently on 31, the tally that Cristiano Ronaldo put up the year he left for Madrid (let's hope Suarez doesn't follow the same path). He surely deserves it, but one believes that he's only concerned about the team getting the three points.

Daniel Sturridge had his goal on Monday taken away by the dubious goals panel, and so he will also be looking to be amongst the scorers this time around. He looked a lot better against Palace than he had in a long time, which was excellent to see.

Brendan Rodgers has said that the lads won't be worried about the City result, and will be concentrated only on Newcastle. Nothing matters if we don't do our own business.

Injuries have played a key part in Newcastle's season, with Hatem Ben Arfa & Papiss Cisse missing significant time (including this match most likely), as well as the sale of Yohan Cabaye playing on fans' minds, many want to see Pardew heading for the exit door. With that said, this might be the "one last hurrah" that he's looking for, and we musn't underestimate them. After all, they gave us a hell of a game reduced to ten men in the reverse fixture.

A key battle to watch is Newcastle's strikers, (likely to be Shola Ameobi and Loic Remy) against our defense. There's not a lot to be said about our backline lately, and that's a problem that both forwards will be looking to exploit.

Odds are that the shackles will be off for both sides coming in, but Brendan will look to make sure we don't get carried away as we did in the Palace game.

Added thoughts:

-Coutinho needs to start. We had the passes going forward against Palace, but what we didn't have was the sleekness and the wizardry Cou provides. (JAceKopite16)

-Agger needs to come in. Mama was terrible last week. and he showed he still has a long way to go. (JAceKopite16)

-Come on Andy Carroll. Win us the bleeping title. (loyal2reds)

-This is the last time Victor Moses will be a Liverpool player. (loyal2reds)

-Thank god Hendo is back, his energy and measured passing is a huge piece of our midfield puzzle. (Matt)

-No one likes to spoil a party more than Sam Allardyce, but I don't know if Andy Carroll or Stewie Downing necessarily want to do us any favors. (Matt)

-This is also the last time Aly Cissokho will be a Liverpool player. (Matt)

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