Rafa is likely to go with a safety first approach against the Reds, which worked very well in their first encounter earlier on in the season. Despite Philippe Coutinho`s long range effort in the first half, we managed to keep their lightning attack at bay for the most part.
Saying that, Jurgen Klopp`s men have scored 103 goals in all competitions with Mo Salah having scored as many as the Magpies have managed in total this season, but I think there a few things that we could do to derail Liverpool at the weekend.
1) Quieten the crowd early on
The Reds are excellent when they go a goal up early on at home. However, the longer you keep them out, the more likely you are to get a result. The crowd at Anfield is usually expectant of victories against teams they deem to be inferior, and the longer it is 0-0, the quieter they become. That anxiety from the stands normally extends onto the pitch, leading to players making mistakes.
With Rafa`s ability to organise a defence, there is a very good chance of frustrating our opponents, and if we get through the first 30 minutes, we can grow in confidence, and expose some of the weaknesses in their own backline.
2) Pack the middle
Swansea gave a master class of how to do it back in January. Carlos Carvalhal switched to a back three to pack the middle of the pitch, and although I don`t see our manager doing that, he will know that staying compact will be key to getting a result.
Their Eqyptian star and Mane are effectively inside forwards and are always keen to link up with Firmino in the middle. If we can break up the passing between the trio, we have a good chance. The midfield of Can, Milner/Henderson and Oxlade-Chamberlain is not always the most creative, and now shorn of their playmaker Coutinho, they are easier to contain.
3) Play with pace on the counter attack
Despite their excellent run of form in the league, it shouldn`t be forgotten that our opponents lost 3-2 at home to West Brom in the FA Cup just over a month ago. They had £75m signing Virgil van Dijk in the side too, but their defence is still vulnerable to pace.
They were hit constantly on the counter attack that day, and when they push high up the pitch at home, they leave gaps for the opposition to exploit. Let`s hope Dwight Gayle is available for this game as he could be crucial to nicking a goal when we have those chances to hit them on the break.