Liverpool are ninth in the Premier League table and need to beat fourth-placed Newcastle on Saturday to boost their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Remarkably, Liverpool can move within six points of Newcastle in fourth by beating Eddie Howe’s team at St James’ Park on Saturday.
Yet defeat to the Magpies could end Liverpool’s hopes of securing Champions League football next season. The Reds do have a game in hand on Newcastle and want to start chasing them down sooner rather than later, as we enter the business end of the season.
Liverpool received a huge boost on Monday by beating local rivals Everton 2-0 at Anfield. That result was their first Premier League win of 2023 and could be the start of a run. Ahead of Saturday’s big game, here are the latest headlines from Merseyside.
Ramsay set for lay off
Calvin Ramsay has undergone surgery to fix a knee problem and is set for a lengthy spell in the treatment room.
Ramsay, 19, joined Liverpool from Aberdeen last summer but has played just twice for Klopp’s side due to injury. The Scotland international was forced to wait until November to make his debut for the club and is yet to feature in the Premier League.
Ramsay posted a picture after his surgery, with his injured left knee heavily bandaged. He wrote: “Surgery went well, time to rest, recover and come back stronger!”
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The teenage defender suffered a stress fracture in his back after signing for Liverpool. He said in December: “It was very frustrating because obviously I’d just signed for the club. I just wanted to come in and get to work and start training and playing.”
Diaz edges closer to return
Luis Diaz was spotted running on the grass at Liverpool’s Kirkby training ground on Wednesday – offering hope of a comeback.
Diaz, 26, hasn’t played in the Premier League since October after suffering back-to-back knee injuries. The Colombia international is not expected to play for a while yet, but the sight of him running is a welcome one for Klopp and his under-pressure side.
Diaz played a crucial role in Liverpool’s quadruple charge last season, as they lifted the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. He was signed from Porto 13 months ago.
Benitez lets rip at Real Madrid
Rafael Benitez has accused his former Real Madrid players of leaking information to the press in an extraordinary rant.
Benitez was in charge of the Spanish giants between June 2015 and January 2016.
As quoted by Spanish radio station Cadena SER, the former Liverpool manager said: “When we arrived in Madrid, [Carlo] Ancelotti had just left, he had a very good relationship with the players, and it seemed that we arrived with a whip.
There was an unfavourable environment… There are complicated situations. And when everything gets complicated, who pays? Me.
“Cristiano [Ronaldo], knowing what he was like, you had to guide him. The problem is when you have to guide seven, some of them don’t play, they’re not happy. And they go to the media to leak it.”