Newcastle vs Liverpool: resurgent Liverpool on a Magpie hunt
Jurgen Klopp's Reds could end Steve McClaren's reign at St James' Park if they continue their away form
Newcastle will not relish their task on Sunday when they come up against a resurgent Liverpool at St James' Park in a match which could decide Steve McClaren's future as the Magpies' boss.
The biggest threat to the home side will come in the small but powerful form of Daniel Sturridge, who looks likely to continue to increase his time on the pitch after scoring twice in an hour against Southampton in the Capital One Cup in midweek.
Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby predicted doom for the Magpies in the Liverpool Echo. "It does appear that Liverpool away from home are looking pretty much unstoppable," he said. "And I do expect them to simply run away from Newcastle."
And Molby has a point. Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are undefeated on the road and have only once failed to win away from home since he took over. The 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane to start his reign was followed by victories against the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, and this week saw the Reds' best display to date as they demolished Southampton.
The Magpies are set to make wholesale changes to their starting lineup after last weekend's 5-1 defeat to Crystal Palace, with the decision to recall Mike Williamson from a loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers showing the depth of the hole that McClaren's side currently lie in.
The Daily Mirror reports that the former England boss is likely to get another week to save his job whatever the result against Liverpool, but McClaren admitted: "It's football, so you never know. You go into every job knowing the impatience of football and you need results."
Klopp, on the other hand, has a far more pleasant problem to deal with - trying to downplay talk of a potential title bid, as they sit just six points from the summit of the league.
When asked whether the Reds were truly a title contender, Klopp deflected and said: "I don't think about this. People can talk about this, we have to play football."
With other top teams facing tricky fixtures on Saturday, including Manchester United hosting a dangerous West Ham side, Klopp's side will know exactly what they have to do to close the gap to what must be the club's primary objective - a Champions League spot.