| Sunday, July 26th |
Premier League | St. James’ Park
4PM BST/11AM EST
This wonderful, weird, historic, unprecedented season of football officially comes to an end this Sunday. Liverpool will take their victory lap at St. James’ Park against Newcastle United. Though they can’t hit that vaunted three-digit points total, they’ll want to hit 99 points and beat their total from last season.
Newcastle United are safe from the drop, sitting in 13th place in the table. Their form since the restart has been patchy at best, and they haven’t won a game since the beginning of the month.
The final game of the season is always a weird one, and Liverpool and Newcastle’s relative positions make it an interesting prospect. Will Klopp play his best XI or will this be a chance for the likes of Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, etc to get one last run out on the big stage before the season ends?
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce has some serious injury issues in the back and some serious scoring issues in the front. Mohamed Salah is desperate to get to 20 goals this season, and he’ll be looking to exploit any weaknesses in this final opportunity.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Player of the Year Jordan Henderson is still out of contention, along with Joel Matip. That leaves Virgil van Dijk, who is 90 minutes away from playing every minute of the season, and Joe Gomez in defense. The predicted line-up is Klopp’s strongest choice, but it would not be a surprise to see changes made to accommodate other players instead.
Newcastle United will have Emil Krafth, Issac Hayden, Sean Longstaff and Florian Lejeune assessed ahead of the game.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “We will stay greedy, we have to and we will. We will not change our attitude, we will try to improve the attitude. We try to improve everything.”
Steve Bruce: “When you look at their team, and the squad of players they’ve put together, they’re young, and they could be around for a long, long time. To slaughter the league like they have, you can only just applaud them. To be 20-odd points clear… they practically won the league before lockdown. It’s a quite remarkable achievement, so congratulations to them all. They’re a breath of fresh air.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor. Assistants: Gary Beswick, James Mainwaring. Fourth official: Matthew Donohue. Replacement official: Wade Smith. VAR: John Brooks. Assistant VAR: Scott Ledger.
Kickoff is set for 4PM BST/11AM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.