Paul Merson explains Alan Pardew's dilemma for Liverpool clash

Newcastle United manager may have a selection headache over whom to pick, as he has been witness to many strong individual performances of late.

Newcastle United had a number of good performers in their last Premier League outing, a 2-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur.

Steven Taylor's return to the Magpies side has seen Newcastle's defence improve on stringency and his leadership at the back was crucial as the North-East club held on for the win at White Hart Lane.

However, Paul Dummett, who excelled in both defensive and attacking zones, also played well, as did Moussa Sissoko and Ayoze Perez.

Earlier in the week, Newcastle again performed excellently as they downed Manchester City by a 2-0 score.

A number of familiar first team players were key in the victory, like Daryl Janmaat, Fabricio Coloccini, the returning Ryan Taylor, but also Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong and Gabriel Obertan.

This gives manager Alan Pardew a selection headache heading into the home game against Liverpool, writers Paul Merson for Sky Sports.

"Who does Alan Pardew play in this game?" he asked. "The kids that did great against Man City in the Capital One Cup or go back to the team that won at Tottenham… I would say winning at Man City was a better result!"

Their opponents Liverpool also have players on the cusp of good form, with summer signing Mario Balotelli threatening to finally come good following his £16 million switch from AC Milan.

"Let’s see if Mario Balotelli can kick on after that good finish in the Cup game against Swansea and go on and score a few more. The jury is still out on him though. One goal in the Cup doesn’t mean a lot," concluded Merson, before touting Liverpool for a 2-1 win.

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