Just a few weeks ago, Alan Pardew's Newcastle United looked in crisis. His summer signings were misfiring, his defence was a total mess, and the Magpies looked at risk of being sucked into a relegation dogfight. A couple of weeks on, things look very different. They've now won three in a row in all competitions, including a 2-0 win away at Manchester City in the Capital One Cup in midweek. Heading into this match, it's their opponents, Liverpool, who are in need of a big improvement in form.
Brendan Rodgers' side have won only four of their opening nine league games this season, and were held to a goalless draw at Anfield by Hull City last time out. Their title charge is undoubtedly at risk of coming to a premature end. They need to start winning games, and fast.
Key player - Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
With Mario Balotelli having failed to impress in attack and Daniel Sturridge having spent much of the early part of the season on the sidelines, the creative burden has almost single-handedly fallen on the shoulders of Raheem Sterling, who has been attracting the interest of some of Europe's biggest clubs. If Newcastle fail to keep England's attacking spark quiet, they could struggle.
Key matchup - Rolando Aarons vs. Alberto Moreno
The star of what has been a pretty difficult season for Newcastle so far has undoubtedly been teenage winger Rolando Aarons, who scored in City's recent win over Manchester City. The Jamaican-born English youth international is starting to look like the real deal, and he could cause big problems in behind Liverpool's attack-minded Spanish full-back Alberto Moreno in this match.
Liverpool injuries and suspensions
Out: Mamadou Sakho (thigh), Jon Flanagan, José Enrique (knee), Daniel Sturridge (calf), Suso (groin). In doubt:None.
Newcastle United injuries and suspensions
Out: Davide Santon (knee), Siem de Jong (thigh), Papiss Demba Cissé (unspecified). In doubt: None.
Liverpool will still be without Daniel Sturridge, with defenders Jon Flanagan, Mamadou Sakho and José Enrique also sidelined, alongside Spanish playmaker Suso. Newcastle, meanwhile, are still without the long-term injured Davide Santon and Siem de Jong, and striker Papiss Demba Cissé.
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 12:45 p.m. local, 8:45 a.m. ET
Venue: St. James' Park, Newcastle, England
TV: NBCSN, Mun2 (U.S.), Sportsnet World (Canada), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S. - English), Deportes Telemundo En Vivo (U.S. - Spanish), Sportsnet World Now (Canada), BT Sport 1 (U.K.)