Liverpool vs. Newcastle United: Players Who'll Be Deciding Factors in EPL Clash

Darin Pike@darinpikeContributor INovember 3, 2012

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 31:  Nathan Dyer of Swansea City tangles with Jack Robinson and Luis Suarez of Liverpool during the Capital One Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on October 31, 2012 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool will host Newcastle United on Sunday, featuring two sides that are battling to stay relevant in English Premier League (EPL) play. It is still early in the season, but they are currently 12th and 10th, respectively. 

Brendan Rodgers will attempt to guide Liverpool to their second-straight home win for the first time in over a year. 

Newcastle, meanwhile, have lost their last seven EPL games at Anfield. They posted their last win there in 1994 and are yet to notch a road win on the season.

Liverpool rested several of their younger stars in the Carling One Cup so they should be fresh and ready.

Both sides offer some exciting players but neither have consistently fired consistently so far this season. 


Luis Suárez

Starting with the obvious, Liverpool's offense revolves around Suarez. He's the the only listed striker on the Reds' roster and the team leans on him heavily.

Suárez is the only player on his side with more than one goal in the current EPL campaign; he has six. He has nine goals in Liverpool's last 14 games overall and also leads the team in assists with two.

Alan Pardew, manager for Newcastle, recognizes the importance of the striker.

(Luis) Suarez is an outstanding talent. I think you have to see how many chances he creates and how many things he does in a game. You could do a highlights show for him after every game. I’ve been talking to Hatem (Ben Arfa) about trying to have the same impact that Suarez is having.

Raheem Sterling

The player that is expected to help set up Suárez and the Reds' offense in Sterling. He doesn't turn 18 until December but the young Jamaican has a goal on the season and is a promising offensive talent.

Sterling was a substitute in an EPL match against Wigan Athletic at the age of 17 years and 107 days old. That made him the second-youngest player to ever play for Liverpool.

The youngster is fast and incredibly conditioned. Newcastle could have a hard time keeping up with him.

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard will play in his 600th game, the 10th player to do so for Liverpool. He has a goal and is tied with Suárez for the team lead in assists.

The 32-year-old is the heart of Liverpool's offense and is one of the best midfielders to ever play in the EPL. He has a strong, continuous motor and can fire shots from distance.

Look for Gerrard to help set up his side with scoring opportunities.


Hatem Ben Arfa

The Newcastle forward likes to play from the wing. Ben Arfa makes his presence known in scoring opportunities, using his speed to attack the middle.

Ben Arfa is second on his side with two goals in the first nine games of the season. Newcastle will need a big day from him, particularly if Demba Ba is unable to play.

Papiss Demba Cisse

The Magpies may need to call on Cisse to continue to fill in for the injured Demba Ba. The seldom-used striker will be looking to make an impact if he has the opportunity.

Manager Pardew said Ba has a chance to return to action following a calf injury.

Cisse has been inconsistent and has struggled with accuracy on the net. His team has little chance for success if Ba isn't in the lineup and Cisse is inconsistent.

"At the moment I think we are pretty even" Boss Alan Pardew puts @nufcofficial on par with #LFC ahead of Sunday's match

— Premier League (@premierleague) November 2, 2012

Midfielder Cheick Tiote is serving the second of a three-match suspension and will not take the pitch.

Score Prediction: Liverpool 1, Newcastle 0


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