Date: 2nd March 2018 at 3:04pm
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Tomorrow`s encounter at Anfield is going to be a tough one for the Magpies. Rafa will have to come up with something special tactically with the Reds incredibly dangerous going forward. Our manager will need to have a game plan in place that will keep it tight at the back, whilst also offering a threat in attack.

So what areas will Jurgen Klopp look to exploit against us, and how do we go about stopping the Reds from taking advantage?

1) Our lack of midfield cover

Injured Jonjo Shelvey was widely criticised for his lack of defensive cover in the closing stages against Bournemouth, but he wasn`t the only one that went missing.

Diame was equally culpable, and if he is picked to start against Liverpool, he will really have to put a shift in. We only had 37% of the ball against the Cherries, and that is likely to be even less tomorrow.

Rafa will likely bring in Isaac Hayden for this match to offer the midfield cover that we will almost certainly need.

2) Our right hand side

Kenedy`s defensive instincts and Dummett`s good recent display means I am not as concerned by the left hand side than I am about the right. Yedlin did some good work at the Vitality, but like many others, he wasn`t on his game for those final ten minutes.

We cannot afford to have any lapses of concentration against a lethal Reds team. Sadio Mane`s pace will cause us all sorts of problems, but the in-form Andy Robertson could provide just as much threat with his forward runs and crosses. Rafa will have been telling Matt Ritchie constantly this week about the need to track runners.

3) Isolated attack

Without much possession of the ball, we will need an outlet in attack to release the pressure. The Reds can be got at on the counter attack, and much will depend on how fit Dwight Gayle is.

If, as expected, he doesn`t last the whole game, Joselu will likely replace him up front. The Spaniard lacks mobility, and Klopp will be able to push and press the ball higher up than he would if our no.9 was in on the pitch, restricting us to clearing the ball into space in behind, which we can`t exploit.

We`ll have to hope that we can keep our main striker on the pitch as long as possible. We need to break out quick from the back to change the pattern of this game, otherwise it could be a long afternoon.