The FourFourTwo Preview: Newcastle vs Liverpool

The Tyneside club have put a dismal start to the season behind them by winning their last three matches in all competitions to ease the pressure on manager Pardew.

Newcastle's latest success came at the expense of Premier League champions Manchester City, who were consigned to a shock 2-0 League Cup defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Few would have given Newcastle any hope of progressing to the last eight when Pardew name a much-changed side that included the likes of Rob Elliot, Rolando Aarons, Adam Armstrong and Ryan Taylor - making his first start since August 2012.

Out-of-sorts City were stunned as goals from Aarons and Moussa Sissoko dumped the holders out and Pardew is now plotting a fourth win in a row this weekend. 

"We have protected ourselves a little bit for Liverpool [by making changes against City]. We can now attack that," he said.

"We have real confidence and belief and that’s very important in football."

Newcastle have moved up to 14th in the table after following up a home victory over Leicester City with a surprise 2-1 win at Tottenham last weekend.

And Pardew is backing his players to cause Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side problems.

"I've had some good games against Liverpool since I've been manager here and we've more than held our own," said the Londoner.

"I'm pretty confident I know what Liverpool will do, I'm pretty confident I know what Brendan's side is.

"I think I know him well enough to know how he'll come and play but I think for us, I think we can surprise them because one thing's for sure, Brendan won't know my team.

"I'm pretty confident of what it's going to be and I think it'll be an entertaining game.

"I think he'll have [Raheem] Sterling on the pitch, he'll have [Adam] Lallana on the pitch, he'll have [Mario] Balotelli, [Jordan] Henderson, [Steven] Gerrard, [Philippe] Coutinho all on the pitch.

"So I think Brendan is pretty happy with that."

Pardew will be without midfielder Cheick Tiote (calf), while striker Papiss Cisse (knee) is rated as "touch and go".

Rodgers believes Newcastle are starting to reap the rewards of keeping faith with Pardew and the Liverpool boss knows his side will be facing a team brimming with confidence on Saturday.

"It is great credit to the people at Newcastle," he said.

"I know Alan is a top-class manager. We know there are boards who change manager but Alan is very experienced, outstanding manager and he has got results.

"Where they are at now, on the back of three wins, they have a bit of momentum."

Rodgers will be hoping Balotelli ends his Premier League goal drought after coming off the bench to inspire a dramatic League Cup fightback against Swansea City on Tuesday.

The Italian striker scored his second goal for the club four minutes from time and Dejan Lovren headed the winner deep in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 win.

Liverpool will be without Daniel Sturridge (calf), Jose Enrique (knee), Mamadou Sakho (thigh), Jon Flanagan (knee) and Suso (groin).

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