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Liverpool’s credentials face Newcastle test, Man Utd seek lift off

Liverpool’s new-look midfield faces a stern examination as the Reds put their Premier League title aspirations to the test at Newcastle on Sunday, while Manchester…

Liverpool’s new-look midfield faces a stern examination as the Reds put their Premier League title aspirations to the test at Newcastle on Sunday, while Manchester United aim to kickstart their campaign against Nottingham Forest.

Title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal are two of only three sides with six points from their opening two games of the new campaign.

Liverpool’s failure to beat Chelsea to Caicedo or Romeo Lavia has seen their transfer business heavily criticised by many of their own fans.

The Reds instead landed 30-year-old Japan captain Wataru Endo as their replacement for the departed Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.

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Endo, described by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as a “real monster”, could make his first start at St James’ Park in an early indicator of who could rival City and Arsenal for the title.

Newcastle leapfrogged Liverpool into the top four last season despite the Reds winning both clashes between the sides.

The Magpies thrashed highly-fancied Aston Villa 5-1 at home on the opening weekend of the campaign, but were brought back down to earth by an inability to match champions City in a 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool will have Mac Allister available after his red card on his home debut in a 3-1 win over Bournemouth was rescinded.

Hope that Manchester United can challenge for their first league title in 11 years has already dwindled after a sloppy 2-0 defeat at Tottenham followed a woeful performance at home to Wolves, despite escaping with a 1-0 win on that occasion.

Erik ten Hag’s men have suffered from a lack of cutting edge up front in the absence of new striker Rasmus Hojlund, out with a back injury.

The Dane misses the visit of Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but another injury to Mason Mount may simplify things for Ten Hag.

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