Is this the Newcastle United starting XI Eddie Howe will name against Liverpool - featuring THREE changes?

Eddie Howe will name his Newcastle United starting XI to face Liverpool at 7pm tonight.

Newcastle United make the daunting trip to Anfield, a ground they haven’t won on since 1994.

The impossible task? It feels that way against a Liverpool side who are back to their potent best - sitting second in the Premier League, four points behind leaders Manchester City.

In order to try and deal with the Reds’ attacking power, our writer Jordan Cronin is predicting a change in formation from Eddie Howe (5-3-2), which includes THREE changes:

GK: Martin Dubravka

Conceded four last time out but no reason to drop Dubravka. Will need to be at his very best if Newcastle are to somehow get something at Anfield - or at least keep the score down.

RB: Javier Manquillo

Endured an awful afternoon at Leicester as he was largely at fault for goals two and three. A potential change in Jacob Murphy is perhaps a tad dangerous against a world-class Liverpool attack given the question marks over his ability to defend.

CB: Fabian Schar

Had a slight injury issue during the week but should be okay to start on Sunday. Been in good form at the back under Howe.

Now Federico Fernandez is out injured, there aren’t many other options? Emil Krafth perhaps? Although he inspires little confidence. Schar, for what he lacks in physicality, is United’s best defender with the ball.

CB: Jamaal Lascelles

Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles looks on before the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on December 04, 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

There have been calls from supporters to drop Lascelles after the Leicester penalty incident but Howe has vowed to stick by his captain. That faith needs repaid.

CB: Ciaran Clark

With a change to a back five predicted, Clark would naturally be recalled to the starting XI. He’s got a lot of making up to do after his Norwich red card.

LWB: Matt Ritchie

On for Shelvey 85: Newcastle conceded moments after he came on. Had little time to do anything.

Ritchie is a player Howe knows and trusts immensely. Harsh on Jamal Lewis, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ritchie restored to the starting XI.

CM: Isaac Hayden

With Shelvey and Willock together, Newcastle lack that holding midfielder. Such role could be key against Liverpool, and Hayden is recognised as someone who can do that.

CM: Jonjo Shelvey

Some games can pass Shelvey by, as did Leicester, but when out of the team, Newcastle have missed him this season. Remains a key player under Howe, who described him as an “unbelievable technician”.

CM/AM: Joelinton

The Brazilian showed against Norwich his ability to drop deeper in midfield. This role would help him support Shelvey, Hayden and the defence, as well as the attackers.

ST: Allan Saint-Maximin

Saint-Maximin hasn’t been his influential self on the left-wing, so perhaps a return to a role down the middle, where he excelled at times this season and last, will get him firing again.

ST: Callum Wilson

With Wilson’s injury record, his gametime must be managed accordingly - but Howe knows that more than anyone. It’d make sense to rest the 29-year-old, but who replaces him? Dwight Gayle?