So how do the opposition prepare for facing Newcastle United? Well, ahead of Saturday's game, Liverpool analysed the Magpies' win against Spurs, predicting Steve Bruce would use a similar set-up and strategy.

Jurgen Klopp had been impressed by how close Newcastle pushed his side when they last met at St James' Park in May and while there had been a change in the dugout since then, the Liverpool boss believed Bruce's side would be just as strong and dangerous.

Bruce was not the only change Klopp took into account; Joelinton made his name in the Bundesliga and the German was already well-aware of the threat Newcastle's No.9 carried.

It may have been the first time Klopp was coming up against Bruce, but Jordan Henderson and Andrew Robertson had prepared him for just what to expect: a team with fight.

In his captain's notes in the pre-match programme, Henderson described Bruce, his former manager, as a 'brilliant leader of a football team and club' although he admitted 'these words coming from a committed Mackem might not do him any favours'.

'I owe Steve and the staff he had with him at Sunderland a great deal and I'll always be grateful for what he, and they, did for me and my career,' he wrote.

'Andy Robertson will back me up when I say there are few managers in the game today who are appreciated and respected by the players who have played under him as much as Steve. He helped me become a better football player and a better person. Robbo says exactly the same about himself.'

In analysing how to win the game, making the most of pressing and counter-pressing was going to be key for Liverpool and it eventually paid off when Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino crowded out and dispossessed Christian Atsu in the build-up to Sadio Mane's crucial second goal.

But, following a sluggish start after the international break, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson held back a little initially, wary of Christian Atsu and Miguel Almiron getting in behind.

Ultimately, it was the advancing Jetro Willems who made Liverpool pay and Alexander-Arnold was a little hesitant in closing down the Dutchman as he got a sight of goal and cut inside.

 

The goal kicked Liverpool into gear - Klopp's side had plenty of time to regain their rhythm - and the introduction of Roberto Firmino proved crucial with the scores level following Sadio Mane's equaliser.

Although Firmino did not score, he created two goals in the 3-1 win and dropped into spaces Newcastle simply could not pick up between midfield and attack as Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ran over the shouder.

Klopp had paid Newcastle the ultimate compliment by only making two changes after the international break - resting Firmino and Henderson - but it was the Brazilian who really made the difference from the bench.

Newcastle have not really had a substitute who can change games in the last few weeks and the introduction of Javier Manquillo and Yoshinori Muto midway through the second half did not affect the game at Anfield.

After submitting a 25-man squad to the Premier League last month, Bruce has not yet had the luxury of making full use of it given the injuries he inherited and the impact injuries a number of players have suffered in training or during games.

"It's been difficult over the last four or five weeks because we haven't had much to come off the bench and something to change us," Bruce admitted ahead of the Liverpool game.

Christian Atsu popped up with an assist when he came on against Spurs last month but that was after replacing the injured Allan Saint-Maximin. That, in turn, has left Newcastle light up front as the Ghana international has come into the starting line-up.

Indeed, all of Newcastle's five goals this season have been scored by players who started the game while 80% of those goals have come in the first half.

Finding a winner, equaliser or a goal to make life a little more comfortable is where a good bench comes into its own in the second half and how Bruce will hope to be able to call upon a fit and firing Saint-Maximin, Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle in the coming months.

It could make the difference.