Liverpool latest: Michael Owen pessimistic over Newcastle game

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Liverpool earned a much needed win in midweek, defeating Swansea City 2-1 in the Capital One Cup just days after the Anfield faithful went home frustrated after the Reds drew 0-0 with Hull City. Brendan Rodgers' men still seem to be coming to terms with the absence of striker Daniel Sturridge, but the Reds manager believes that he still has a number of talented attackers at his disposal.

"With Daniel out, of course it’s a miss, but it’s an opportunity," he said ahead of this weekend's trip to Newcastle. "The other night we gave an opportunity to players who haven’t featured so much and they were outstanding. Fabio Borini was excellent, a real threat. He put in a wonderful cross for the first goal and did very, very well."

"Rickie Lambert, who hasn’t had many opportunities, his goals will come. He’s working tirelessly every day and had some nice touches the other night. Young Markovic playing on the left hasn’t featured so much, but we brought him in for the longer term. He’ll get games in this period because we’ve got confidence he’ll be a big player for us. Those players will get a chance and hopefully they can take that chance," he added.

That game against Newcastle promises to be an interesting encounter, with the Reds still a hit-and-miss side, going up against an in-form Magpies side who have won their last three games in all competitions. One player to feature for both clubs is Michael Owen, and he is pessimistic over Liverpool's chances.

"It is a really hard place to play when Newcastle are in flying form and after the last couple of wins everyone will be in a lot brighter mood," said Owen.

"I am sure Liverpool were rubbing their hands together for the last few weeks, saying, ‘This is a great time to play Newcastle’. Now, all of a sudden, it’s the worst time because their tails are up again and they are playing with a lot of confidence."

With the January transfer window fast approaching, players continue to be linked with moves to Merseyside as Rodgers tries to make sure his side finish in the top four of the Premier League. After reported target Victor Valdes began training with Manchester United, goalkeepers were always going to be linked with the club as Rodgers seeks to add competition for Simon Mignolet.

Now, with Fiorentina's Neto set to pen a new deal with the Serie A club, Rodgers may turn his attention to their Italian rivals Genoa, and their young goalkeeper Mattia Perin. The 21-year-old, widely considered to be the heir to Gianluigi Buffon for Italy, has impressed with Genoa this season and could be the subject of a January bid from Liverpool.

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