Date: 2nd March 2018 at 12:12pm
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With Rafa Benitez settling down in front of the media right about now, thoughts very much turn towards tomorrows teatime game on Merseyside.

What lies ahead is a daunting trip to Anfield to face a side that has not lost there this season whilst bagging over thirty goals in the process.

With our strikers getting most of the headlines this season for being the weak link of chances missed, the defence has seen opposite headlines with stories of grit and steel although Rafa will always say it’s a team game.

Last week saw the likes of Jonjo Shelvey lambasted on TV by Frank Lampard for being lazy before an injury concern was leaked to the press by a strange short statement from Newcastle on the official website. Something that I thought was a bit of protection by Rafa for Shelvey but I may be wrong.

There was also the tale of Dwight Gayle and tight hamstrings, so he also remains a doubt whilst the likes of Joselu has been laid low at a similar low confidence time with a virus and Jacob Murphy suffering a recent knock as well as Mikel Merino’s back issue and Isaac Hayden’s absences. We do look short in theory although most will be available.

As I speak, Rafa will probably have ruled out or in some players mentioned above as well as report on the usual last minute fitness tests, although with experience rearing it’s head, it could all be mind games and an unchanged line up from the one that should have beat Bournemouth could line up again. We’ll find out soon enough