Liverpool’s best coach in many years has chosen as strong a line-up as he can for today’s league clash with Newcastle. Back in the starting line-up are Fernando Torres and Harry Kewell, with Steven Gerrard set to line up on the right. Momo Sissoko has Lucas alongside him in the centre of midfield. Joining Torres up front is Dirk Kuyt, with Peter Crouch on the bench.
Javier Mascherano isn’t in the starting line, after being away on international duty during the week he only got back to Merseyside yesterday so wasn’t considered fit enough to start the game. That could be something to get used to though, the current Liverpool owners unwilling to even talk about what the coach, player and supporters want – making his loan move permanent.
Daniel Agger still wasn’t ready to return for the Reds, so Sami Hyypia lines up alongside Jamie Carragher.
Rafa Benitez has concentrated on training and coaching this team.
Opposite number Sam Allardyce has had run-ins with Rafa in the past, as the Spanish coach has been shocked at the phyical nature of the teams put out by Allardyce at Bolton. There’s no Michael Owen for the Geordies, but Martins and Viduka are capable of causing problems for the Reds.
Newcastle: 1 Given, 20 Geremi, 21 Beye, 4 Rozehnal, 3 Jose Enrique, 17 Smith, 22 Butt, 5 Emre, 14 N’Zogbia, 36 Viduka, 9 Martins
Subs: 13 Harper, 2 Carr, 7 Barton, 16 Milner, 30 Edgar
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 17 Arbeloa, 8 Gerrard, 21 Lucas, 22 Sissoko, 7 Kewell, 9 Torres, 18 Kuyt
Subs: 30 Itandje, 6 Riise, 15 Crouch, 19 Babel, 20 Mascherano
Referee: Alan Wiley