For many supporters it seems hard to believe that it was 52 years ago that a legend was born on Tyneside when Malcolm MacDonald scored a memorable hattrick on his home debut as the magpies triumphed 3:2. The transfer fee was a record breaking £180,000 for the club.
Move on those 52 years and the two clubs have collectively completed over £320m in transfer activity during the close season, with the most expensive purchase being Liverpool’s acquisition of Dominik Szoboszlai from RB Leipzig for £70m. Other additions to the Liverpool squad are Alexis MacAllister from Brighton for £42m and Wataru Endo, who joined from Stuttgart for a reported £19m.
Klopp also failed with bids totalling around £200m for Brighton’s Moises Caicedo, Southampton’s Romeo Lavia who both subsequently joined Chelsea, and Fluminense midfielder Andre. This came despite his bleating that Liverpool cannot compete in the transfer market against the so-called Gulf Elite. It also follows Liverpool bringing in over £50m in transfer fees following the sale of Fabinho and Henderson to clubs in the Saudi League.
Klopp is simply playing to the gallery and there is no doubt that he will be attempting to burn that Saudi money plus more with further acquisitions before the transfer window closes on 1st of September.
Newcastle meanwhile acquired Harvey Barnes from Leicester, Tino Livramento from Southampton, Lewis Hall on loan from Chelsea and of course Sandro Tonali from Inter Milan
They also dipped into the market for Yankuba Minteh, an 18-year-old Gambian striker from Danish side Odense Boldklub before sending him on a season long loan with Feyenoord.
Liverpool got back on track last weekend with a relatively comfortable home win against Bournemouth, following what can only described as a lacklustre performance against Chelsea in their opening league fixture of the season; the clubs playing out a 1:1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Newcastle Utd meanwhile will be hoping to show no ill-effects from their recent defeat at League champions Manchester City.
That defeat seems to have been met with mixed emotions on Tyneside but perhaps the less said about that the better!
Despite his sending off on Saturday, Liverpool will have MacAllister available for selection as his red card has been overruled on appeal.
Liverpool may have a slight injury doubt over Trent Alexander Arnold who hobbled off after 75 minutes against Bournemouth, but Klopp will be hopeful that the injury will not keep him side-lined. Indeed, both Alexander Arnold and Luis Diaz were both reported to be doing light training earlier in the week.
Eddie Howe meanwhile will be assessing the fitness of Joelinton, who hobbled off on Saturday evening to be replaced by Sean Longstaff. Fabien Schar was also in the wars but the fact that he saw out the full 90 minutes after a heavy fall that required extensive on-pitch examination in only the first minute of the game suggests that there will be no concerns regarding the Swiss International’s availability this weekend.
The match Referee is John Brooks, and he will be assisted by Lee Betts and Akil Howson on flag duty. The Fourth official is Craig Pawson and this week’s lottery selection on VAR was won (or lost depending upon your persuasion) by Stuart Attwell and Constantine Hatzidakis.
The selection of Hatzidakis is an interest one, given that he was VAR assistant to Paul Tierney on Saturday when they gave a straight red card to MacAllister which was subsequently overruled on appeal.
Hatzidakis was also the assistant referee whose elbow connected with Andy Robertson’s head as he was leaving the pitch at half-time during Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal back in April.
Howay The Lads