Liverpool have completed the acquisition of two new players, while Jürgen Klopp could deploy midfielder Alexis Mac Allister in a new role against Newcastle United on Sunday.
On Sunday, Liverpool will face a huge test of its credentials when they take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park. It will be the Reds’ first opportunity to take on one of last season’s top four, having missed out on a Champions League place itself.
Since pipping Jürgen Klopp’s side last year, Newcastle has added five more players to its squad, breaking its transfer record to acquire Sandro Tonali from AC Milan and also recruiting Harvey Barnes from Leicester City and Tino Livramento from Southampton. The 18-year-old duo of Yankuba Minteh and Lewis Hall have also joined from Odense and Chelsea respectively.
Eddie Howe’s side may have fallen to a narrow 1-0 defeat at reigning champion Manchester City last weekend, but a 5-1 opening day victory over Europa League side Aston Villa served as a warning to Liverpool nonetheless.
Aston Villa attempted to play a high line not too dissimilar to the one Klopp will use at the weekend, but it backfired spectacularly.
While the Reds won this fixture 2-0 against 10 men last year after a red card for Nick Pope, Newcastle still fired off 14 shots and amassed an xG of 2.04.
The Reds completed deals for teenage duo Trey Nyoni and Amara Nallo, writes James Martin. Midfielder Nyoni, 16, has joined from Leicester City, while center-half Nallo, also 16, arrives from West Ham United.
They’re still at a very early stage in their development, but if they eventually make it into the Reds’ Premier League squad, then they will bring the benefit of qualifying as homegrown.
Liverpool midfielder Alexis Mac Allister could start in a different position against Newcastle United on Sunday.
Mac Allister has had to stand in as a defensive midfielder in Liverpool’s first two matches but, after seeing his red card against Bournemouth last week overturned, he should now be able to move into a more natural role as the left-sided number eight.
That’s because Wataru Endo, Liverpool’s newest signing, is surely set to start against Newcastle after getting a full week of training under his belt following his debut off the bench last time out.
Endo has been recruited to play the number six role, and that will give Mac Allister the chance to move up the pitch in a new-look combination.