Liverpool take on Newcastle United on Saturday in a match the Reds really cannot lose.
A late turnaround in the Capital One Cup against Swansea City failed to hide the fact that Brendan Rodgers’ side are struggling right now, with their 0-0 draw against Hull City proving just how important Daniel Sturridge is to this side and recent encounters with Real Madrid and Queens Park Rangers raising questions over their defence.
A match away to a resurgent Newcastle will not be easy but here are three Liverpool players with a point to prove this weekend:
The Italian international may have come off the bench to change the game against Swansea on Tuesday but Balotelli still has a long way to go before he proves his critics wrong. Two goals in 798 minutes of football since his arrival at Anfield is simply not good enough, and he will want to score his first league goal for the Reds as soon as possible.
Lallana’s performance against West Bromwich Albion spoke of a player hell bent on proving he is well worth Liverpool’s considerable outlay during the summer. But he has failed to score or assist a goal since that strike against the Baggies and he must perform near his best if his side are to leave St James’ Park with the victory.
The Croatian centre-back has come in for some criticism since his move from Southampton, with Liverpool’s back-line continuing to leak goals at a worrying rate.
Against Swansea Lovren popped up with the winner and he will hope to follow that important performance with a clean-sheet against a Newcastle side beginning to look far more threatening up front.