Chris Sutton questions Newcastle United ahead of Liverpool clash amid Bruno Guimaraes claim
The former Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers striker has given his take on Saturday’s big game.
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Former Premier League winner Chris Sutton has suggested Newcastle United have potentially ran out of steam ahead of Saturday’s crunch meeting with Liverpool.
The Reds will arrive on Tyneside on the back of Monday night’s 2-0 win over local rivals Everton as they claimed their first win in five league games to remain within striking distance of the European places.
The St James Park clash will offer Jurgen Klopp’s men a chance to cut the gap to fourth-placed Newcastle to just six points and they also have the benefit of holding a game in hand on the Magpies.
For the Magpies, the game represents a big opportunity to deliver a significant blow to one of their rivals for a place in the Champions League and boost their own hopes of returning to European football’s elite for the first time since 2003.
Despite only losing one of their 22 Premier League fixtures so far this season, Eddie Howe’s side drawn five of their last six games and head into the meeting with Liverpool on the back of underwhelming performances against Bournemouth and West Ham United.
Sutton insisted the Magpies are missing the ‘control in midfield’ provided by Bruno Guimarares, who will be missing once again as he serves the final game of a three-match suspension.
Writing in his BBC Sport predictions column, he said: Have Liverpool turned the corner with Monday’s win over Everton? I am not sure about that. Jurgen Klopp’s side did look more like their old selves, especially with the way they counter-attacked, but their defence was not exactly stretched.
“The question with Newcastle is whether they are just running out of steam. They looked short of energy against Bournemouth last time out. Bruno Guimaraes, who is still suspended, is a big miss too. They just don’t have the same control in midfield without him.
“Liverpool are the only team to have beaten Newcastle in the league this season. I don’t see them doing the double - but I am going to sit on the fence and go with a draw.”