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Newcastle United vs Liverpool Half-Time Update

It’s so far, so good for new Newcastle manager Alan Pardew; his first game in charge sees his side lead Liverpool 1-0 at St James Park.

The North-East club took the lead after 14 minutes; a Joey Barton free-kick was looped into the box and nodded down by Andy Carroll, straight into the path of Kevin Nolan, who slotted the ball home to the relief of the home support.

Five minutes later, they nearly doubled their lead; a similar setup nearly fell for veteran defender Sol Campbell, but was just out of his reach.

A deflected Ameobi shot on 35 minutes very nearly made it 2-0, but it rolled just the wrong side of the post.

The Magpies manager has made a couple of changes to the Newcastle side that lost 3-1 to West Brom; industrious midfielders Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan come in, replacing Wayne Routledge and Danny Guthrie. Coloccini and Williamson are both suspended for the home side, who are also missing Hatem Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor and Dan Gosling to long-term injuries.

For Liverpool, Ryan Babel’s well-taken goal on Monday against Aston Villa is not enough to keep him in the side, as he is replaced by Fernando Torres in attack. Joe Cole is once again benched, as is Fabio Aurelio and Christian Poulsen.

The returning Spanish striker started the match looking lethargic and off-the-pace, mistiming a handful passes and on occasion suffering from a heavy first touch. Despite being 4/1 to score the next goal, odds of Newcastle keeping a clean sheet at 6/4 seems a better option.

Newcastle’s Cheik Tiote, who has impressed at his new club so far this season, is enjoying a lot of space in the centre of midfield, with plenty of time to pick and choose passes around the pitch. For the Ivory Coast international to cap a great performance with a goal, odds as enticing as 28/1 can be found online.

After a sluggish start to the season, results were starting to go the way of Roy and his team; having won five of their last eight Premier League games, the odds at half time are still showing them as potential winners; 9/2 suggest many think they could turn this game around; a win for the Reds would see them jump to sixth, just a point off of 5th place Tottenham.

Newcastle, on the other hand, could go to 8th if the result stays in their favour.

NUFC: Krul, Simpson, Enrique, Campbell, Taylor, Nolan, Barton, Gutierrez, Tiote, Carroll, Ameobi

Substitutes: Harper, Perch, Guthrie, Routledge, Smith, Lovenkrands, Ranger

LFC: Reina, Johnson, Konchesky, Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Meireles, Maxi, Lucas, Torres, Kuyt, Ngog

Substitutes: Jones, Aurelio, Kelly, Cole, Poulsen, Jovanovic, Babel

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