Newcastle head into the Premier League tie on the back of three successive victories, with the historic 2-0 win at Manchester City on Wednesday night raising the club to the occasion.
The pressure on manager Alan Pardew’s head has alleviated, and, with a number of previously injured players returning to full match-fitness, the Magpies should surely be confident that they can claim a result against a faltering Liverpool side - who have yet to reach the heights of last season.
Injuries to key players have seen the Reds struggle this term, and Pardew - who himself has a selection headache for the fixture with the form of Rolando Aarons, Gabriel Obertan and Sammy Ameobi - is confident that he knows how Brendan Rodgers will line his side up for the game.
“I’m pretty confident about what Liverpool will do,” the 53-year-old told the Chronicle.
“I think I know Brendan well enough to know how they will play, but I think we can surprise them.
“One thing’s for sure - Brendan won’t know my team, but I’m confident what his will be.”
Pardew’s knowledge of the likely Liverpool line-up comes from the limitations in the Reds squad, with Daniel Sturridge still be out of action through injury, whilst Mario Balotelli will start ahead of Rickie Lambert due to Rodgers’ apparent lack of faith in the English forward. The midfield selection will surely remain the same as it has for much the season, and the only real selection problems for Rodgers will be in the defensive positions.
Rodgers would appreciate the kind of selection headache that Pardew will be heading into the game with, with his team undoubtedly one of the strongest in the division, but, in their current situation, they must surely be worried that Newcastle could realistically move to within one point of them with a victory this weekend.