It’s been 61 matches and a few months shy of 40 years since Toon Army fans and Kopites last left a game between Newcastle and Liverpool without seeing a goal scored, but with both sides struggling to break teams down on occasion in the Premier League this term the time has come to get on the 9/1 about a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park.
Liverpool are 39/50 favourites to take all three points back to Anfield and the hosts can be backed at 16/5 to register their second home win of the season, with the draw 11/4.
Since Brendan Rodgers took over at Anfield the Reds’ form following international breaks has been patchy.
Rodgers’ first experience of post-World Cup qualifying matches as Reds boss ended in a low-scoring draw in the north east last September when Luis Suarez’s 70th-minute equaliser at Sunderland rescued a point for Liverpool after Steven Fletcher’s first-half opener.
The Merseysiders squeaked past Reading and Aston Villa by a goal on each occasion in subsequent post-break fixtures last season, but they were up to their old tricks following last month’s international clashes when escaping with a point against Swansea, thanks to former Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s brain freezing long enough to set up two goals for his old side.
Newcastle played 266 minutes of Premier League football this season before scoring their first goal.
Hatem Ben Arfa’s 86th minute strike at Fulham gave Toon boss Alan Pardew some breathing space after his side had drawn blanks in their first two Premier League games at Man City and when hosting West Ham.
The former Lyon man’s tally of two goals this season in the Premier League is one more than any of Newcastle’s four strikers bar Loic Remy, who could not breach the Liverpool defence when playing a full 90 minutes against them for parent club QPR in May.
Recent 3-1 wins against the bottom two masked Liverpool’s poor scoring form so far this term.
Suarez and Daniel Sturridge filled their boots against Crystal Palace and Sunderland in the Reds’ last two top-flight games, chalking up five goals between them, but considering they were facing the two worst defences in the Premier League little can be read into those results.
In their two previous games at Man Utd in the Capital One Cup and against Southampton in the league at Anfield, Liverpool failed to trouble the scoresheet and Rodgers’ side have only managed a single strike or less in four of their seven Premier League matches so far this term.