Newcastle v Liverpool – Match preview and team news

Newcastle welcome Liverpool to St James’ Park still looking perilously over their shoulders at the drop zone.

After an up-turn in form in early February following the influx of January signings from France, Alan Pardew’s men have struggled to put together results of late and their point at West Brom last week, coupled with defeats to Sunderland, Manchester City and Wigan recently has left them still only six points above 18th-placed Wigan, who have a game in hand.

The Magpies welcome back Cheick Tiote after the Ivorian midfielder missed the trip to the Hawthorns with a hamstring injury. Fabricio Coloccini is back in training after recovering from a back injury though this clash comes just a little too soon for the Newcastle captain, while Tim Krul, Sylvain Marveaux and Davide Santon remain absent with shoulder, groin and hamstring injuries respectively. French winger Hatem Ben Arfa could be set to start.

Liverpool will be without star striker Luis Suarez as the Uruguayan begins his 10 match-ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic last Sunday. Daniel Sturridge should step in to deputise while Fabio Borini may make an unexpected early return from a dislocated shoulder.

The Reds will also give a late fitness test to youngster Raheem Sterling after the England international has spent a spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury.

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle v Liverpool

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