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Red revolution: Juergen Klopp-inspired Liverpool go Magpie hunting

Reds' away form is outstanding and they can add another scalp at troubled Newcastle, who are mired near bottom of the table

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 December, 2015, 12:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 December, 2015, 12:03am

All of a sudden Liverpool are fourth favourites for the English Premier League title and their odds could shorten to single figures tomorrow night if they keep the momentum going with victory at struggling Newcastle.

Juergen Klopp's methods have quickly taken root at Anfield and the Reds are on a four-match winning run in all competitions that has taken them to sixth place in the league and the semi-finals of the Capital One (League) Cup.

Klopp's high-pressing tactics have put Liverpool on the front foot close to goal and they have scored 18 in the last seven

With no team able to take a dominant hold, Liverpool are starting to look one of the more credible contenders.

The results have grown ever more impressive, with high-scoring away wins over Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton, and Klopp's record now stands at seven wins, three draws and only one defeat (at home to Crystal Palace) from his first 11 matches.

Injuries and lack of goals seemed likely to hobble the new manager's efforts to mount an effective challengeat the top of the table, but Daniel Sturridge's goal-scoring return against Southampton in midweek was emblematic of a more positive outlook on both fronts.

Klopp's high-pressing tactics have put Liverpool on the front foot close to goal and, after managing just three goals in his first four matches, they have scored 18 in the last seven.

The unproven aspect of Liverpool's form is whether they can be as effective at home, where they have scored a single goal in five of their six matches under Klopp, but on the road the tactics are working perfectly and they look well set up to take advantage of Newcastle's problems.

Since a goalless draw at Tottenham in Klopp's first match, Liverpool have won all four away games in three different competitions and they have scored at least three goals in the last three.

Newcastle boss Steve McClaren might prefer his team to sit back in an attempt to restrict the space for Liverpool's attackers, as most teams do at Anfield, but the home crowd are unlikely to accept that game plan.

The problem for McClaren is that pressing forward is likely to play into Liverpool's hands. With Newcastle's defence low on confidence and skill - and Liverpool's attack precisely the opposite - it is easy to envisage another calamitous afternoon for the strugglers.

Newcastle have conceded at least two goals in 10 of their 14 league games and on recent form Liverpool rate a good pick off -1 on the Handicap HAD.

Tottenham, a place above Liverpool in the table, are also in great form and they are a good bet to win at West Brom tonight.

Mauricio Pochettino's side are unbeaten since their 1-0 loss at Manchester United on opening day and they have won five of their last six matches against teams from outside the big six.

Since Pochettino took charge at the start of last season, they have won 11 out of 18 on the road against non big-six teams. One of those wins was 3-0 at West Brom last season shortly after Tony Pulis took over at the Hawthorns and the home side will struggle to close the gap in class.

The only team with better form than Tottenham is Leicester, who also look good for an away win at Swansea tonight.

Like Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester have an excellent record against teams from outside the big six with eight wins and three draws from 11 matches, and that form dates well back into last season when their last 10 games against teams from outside the big six yielded seven wins and three draws.

Swansea are low on confidence and goals, which will make it difficult to keep up with Leicester's free-scoring attack as Jamie Vardy attempts to equal the all-time consecutive scoring record in England's top division by extending his goal streak to 12 matches.

Watford are worth considering every time they play teams outside the elite and they are decent odds at home to Norwich tonight.

Quique Sanchez Flores has Watford so well organised that they are unbeaten in nine games against teams outside the top seven. They started the season with three draws in that category but, with growing confidence, have won five of the last six.

Norwich City, who were promoted with Watford, have not adjusted as well to the Premier League and have yet to beat a team outside the bottom six.

Having scored no more than one goal in any of their last six games, they are likely to have difficulty breaching Watford's mean defence.

Shortlist: Blackburn, Chievo, Empoli.