By Brian Sears
2 November 2012
Liverpool will start the weekend in 12th place in the Premier League with 10 points and a goal difference of minus two, three points behind Newcastle in 10th, on 13 points and with the same goal difference.
Liverpool host Newcastle on Sunday at Anfield, so a win would see Brendan Rodgers’ team leapfrog the Geordies, a draw would keep them the same distance and points apart, and a defeat … well a defeat is unthinkable for many Reds, even though their club is clearly one in transition.
To understand why losing at home to Newcastle would be such a shocker, it’s pertinent to know that Liverpool have lost just one home league game against Newcastle in 18 meetings over the past 20 years – and that was the first Premier League meeting, on 16 April 1994.
(See graphic below for details)
Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle, who went on to finish third that season behind Manchester United and Blackburn, won that game 2-0 thanks to goals from Rob Lee and Andy Cole. They have not won another league game at Liverpool since.
Liverpool have won 15 of the 17 subsequent Premier League games on their own turf, scoring 45 goals and winning 47 points in the process.
Liverpool have won more games at home against Newcastle, won more points at home against Newcastle and scored more goals at home against Newcastle than against any other opponents in the 20 years of the Premier League.
The only interruptions to their winning record were draws in September 2002 (2-2) and May 2004 (1-1).
The most frequent number of goals Liverpool have scored against Newcastle in that period is three (seven times, including in each of their last four Anfield meetings, 3-1, 3-0, 3-0, 3-0).
The graphic shows Liverpool’s home record against all their Premier League opponents. Tottenham and Chelsea have also provided rich rewards in total points as well as points per game, as have West Ham, Aston Villa and Manchester City.
Rodgers has a huge rebuilding job to do. A semblance of ‘business almost as usual for Liverpool’ could be attained with a win this weekend.