Newcastle United need to start energetic, aggressive players against Liverpool.
Newcastle United managed to avoid a demolition from Manchester City when they only lost 2-0 on Saturday, but it will be difficult to avoid the same fate against league leaders Liverpool.
Steve Bruce is under enormous pressure to turn things around after some poor performances and embarrassing results in recent weeks. Although the Magpies are expected to miss out on three more points Wednesday, Bruce should start these five players to stand the best chance.
Newcastle United are not expected to create many chances against Liverpool, but Gayle only needs two or three decent looks at goal to be a threat. Pairing him up with Callum Wilson would force Liverpool’s back line to sit deeper than they would like.
Hayden is the only midfielder in this squad who is capable of disrupting counters and recovering the ball. His offensive involvement is minimal, but that is fine for this game. His aggression and tight marking will be critical in the middle of the park.
Newcastle United did not enjoy much time on the ball against Manchester City, but Matty Longstaff impressed with the ball at his feet. The youngster was one of the top passers from both teams in that game, and the urgency and hustle he plays with will frustrate the Reds.
Murphy is still trying to develop some consistency, but he deserves to start after his performance against City. Murphy was the only midfielder trying to score as he forced a few saves and came close from distance. In addition, his pace will be massive for counter-attacks.
Ritchie has been up and down lately, but there is no questioning his effort. With Ryan Fraser injured again, and Miguel Almiron in need of a rest, Ritchie is the best available option to start. The key for the Scottish international will be to deliver some quality balls into the box.