Sports News of Sat, 30 Sep 20171
Christian Atsu could be Newcastle's key to victory over Liverpool
Newcastle United will be keen to get back to winning ways before the international break following their 1-0 defeat to Brighton last weekend but they’ll have to be at their best to get a result, as they host Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
The Reds have thus far endured a rollercoaster campaign, with comfortable victories accompanied by shocking defeats. Their attacking play has been sensational at times but their defensive line has been woeful and leaking goals.
That will give Newcastle encouragement heading into Sunday’s game and a focal point of Newcastle’s attack could be Christian Atsu, as the winger has the play and direct drive that can cause the Reds’ defence a wealth of problems.
Atsu has played all six of Newcastle’s games so far this season, including five as a starter, and has a return of one goal and one assist- with his goal coming in the victory over Stoke City, whilst his assist came in the comfortable win over West Ham.
They’ll need him to be at his best this weekend and he should be encouraged by Liverpool’s weak defence, which has struggled when dealing with pacy players out wide, although he’ll need support to put the ball in the back of the net.
Dwight Gayle is yet to open his account this season but is equally devastating when running at his opponents with pace, so he’s another player who should thrive in the encounter with Liverpool at St. James’ Park.
Atsu’s play won’t just be key moving forward though as he’ll also have to track back and help with defensive duties, as Liverpool will fancy their chances of outscoring their opponents with their starring attacking quartet of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Those players have proven to be prolific and reliable in front of goal this season, something that Newcastle’s own attacking players haven’t been able to do- so the key is to take their chances as they come, whilst limiting the opportunities that Liverpool have.
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