Liverpool man now ‘a different player’ as Merson gives verdict for ‘massive’ game’ against Newcastle
Paul Merson has predicted that this weekend’s huge Premier League game between Newcastle United and Liverpool will end in a 1-1 draw.
Liverpool returned to winning ways at the start of this week as they beat Merseyside rivals, Everton. Mo Salah and Cody Gakpo got on the scoresheet as Jurgen Klopp’s side earned a vital three points.
This was a big boost to their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League and they face fourth-placed Newcastle this weekend.
A win for the Reds will close the gap on Newcastle to six points and they would also still have a game in hand over their rivals.
Merson has pointed out that Gakpo “looked like a different player” against Everton and he “thinks this game will end in a draw”.
‘This is a massive game. Liverpool are back to their high-tempo style of play, and they’re closing down very well. Some of their players played very well against Everton. They’re not at their best yet, but they’re getting there,’ Merson wrote for Sportskeeda.
‘This is such a hard game to call. Liverpool are in for a big few days – and they’ll face Real Madrid after their Premier League game against Newcastle. The Champions League is their last chance to win a trophy. A draw here doesn’t really help them, to be honest. They’ll need to win this match.
‘Cody Gakpo looked like a different player after he scored his goal. As a professional footballer, if there’s one thing you can bottle up and keep forever, it’s confidence. After Gakpo scored his goals, he was steaming past players. I’d play him this weekend alongside Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.
‘Newcastle are a solid team, but they’re not winning many football matches. If Liverpool win this game, they’ve got every chance of making it into the Premier League top four. I think this game will end in a draw – it suits Newcastle, but it doesn’t suit Liverpool.’
This is while ex-Ajax manager Aad de Mos feels that Gakpo will only reach his full potential at Liverpool once they “get a new manager”.
“Liverpool are entering a new cycle and he can become one of the best players if Liverpool gets a new manager,” De Mos told Soccernews.nl.
“I think Klopp’s era is coming to an end. Now it has also become known in the media that after seven years at Mainz, seven years at Dortmund and now his seventh year at Liverpool, things are coming to an end.
“Gakpo will certainly find his place in a new, young team. It is normal for clubs to perform a little less, now they will continue to select and they will be a good team again.”
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