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So Many Birds: AA's Newcastle Preview

Liverpool take on Newcastle on Saturday in what has, for the longest time, been one of the Premier League's most mouthwatering encounters.

Gareth Copley

UK: 12:45PM-BT Sport

US: 8:45AM-NBC Sports

Liverpool visit St. James's Park on Saturday after respective cup victories in the week. Newcastle have their tails up after a great performance against holders and league champions Man City, but there's no reason for Liverpool not to be in full gear either.

Jose Enrique has a problem with his knee and will not travel with the squad to face his former team, but he's the only new concern with Mamadou Sakho, Jon Flanagan, and of course Daniel Sturridge still on the sideline.

Adam Lallana has vowed to continue searching for even better form within himself as he progresses this season after a shaky start, and has said that Kopites are right to expect more out of him.

Brendan Rodgers was incredibly impressed with Fabio Borini following a sound performance against Swansea and many fans feel that he should get his chance in the league this weekend.

The defense needs to be at the top of its game, considering this tie has produced more goals than any other in the Premier League era, with two clashes in the 90s ending 4-3 each way.

Despite some recent struggles, Liverpool look to improve on form that includes two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five league games, which isn't perfect, but also isn't a complete free fall.

Having said that, Newcastle are the ones directly above us in the form table, with exactly the same record, but back to back wins against Leicester and a bit of an upset against Tottenham. Add to that the win against City in the cup, and the home fans will surely be up for it.

But that's not to say the traveling Kop won't be either. Mario Balotelli's finally got his first goal in domestic competition for the Reds, Fabio Borini's put himself in the running for a start after the good performance in the week, and while it's still not great, there are slight signs of improvement at the back.

For Newcastle Mike Williamson and Steven Taylor are doubtful, while the same can't be said for David Santon who is out with a knee problem. Cheik Tiote is also a big miss for Newcastle, and he'll be out for at least another week, while Siem De Jong is out seemingly long term with a thigh injury. Pappiss Cisse is also 50/50 with a knee problem. We wish Jonas Gutierrez a safe and speedy recovery as he battles with liver cancer.

Despite injuries, Alan Pardew will have his boys well and truly up for this, knowing that only four points separate us from them in the league table. But on the flip side of that coin, we have a chance to go into the top four with a win, and so the Reds will be up for it ourselves.

Other thoughts:

-I always like playing Newcastle. These are always heated encounters, and you can see everyone goes all out. But we desperately need a win, probably just as much as they do. (Johnathan)

-Please god, let that be Balo's big break. He needed it, he deserved it. He was getting a bit too much stick from some fans, and it's time to shut them up. (Johnathan)

-These are important times for us. We have a big month, and we need to start it off right. (Johnathan)

-Start Borini and Balotelli together. (Dan)

-It'll be interesting to see if Liverpool continue to focus on possession based football as they did against Swansea.