It’s been over 23 years of hurt and regret for Newcastle fans since their title hopes were dashed in the 1995/96 season. The Magpies almost won the Premier League and were 12 points clear of 2nd in January of that season. However, when they travelled to Anfield three points behind Man United, they simply had to win. What followed was an epic.
Tomorrow, Newcastle fans can get their own back on the Anfield faithful by ending Jurgen Klopp’s side’s hopes of winning their first Premier League crown. If they do get a memorable win it likely won’t be in the same fashion as Stan Collymore’s dramatic winner injury-time winner in that 4-3 humdinger from all those years ago, but as long as the Magpies can come out of their clash with the Kopites with a point of three they’ll be happy.
Newcastle United vs Liverpool, 1996
A lot of Liverpool fans seem to be going into this game thinking that the Geordies will be happy to let them get all three points seeing as Rafa Benitez is a Liverpool hero and is now at St James Park. If that’s the case, they’ve got another thing coming. The Magpies have got 23 years worth of pain and anger towards the Reds for costing them all those years ago, and they would love it if they beat them, they would love it.
It was, of course, in the aftermath of that loss to Liverpool and before a clash with Leeds United that Kevin Keegan, a Newcastle hero in every sense of the word, had his famous meltdown live on the Sky Sports cameras. His outburst of emotion and rage for Sir Alex Ferguson was a sight to behold, and the Magpies would love nothing more than seeing a similar scene with Jurgen Klopp this weekend.
Jurgen Klopp is in danger of gaining a reputation for being a ‘nearly man’. He’s so far made it to three cup finals as the Liverpool manager and has fallen to defeat in all of those, although, the current Premier League title race providing his side with a brilliant chance of dashing that. It will be on every Newcastle fan’s mind to give Liverpool fans that same sinking feeling that they had themselves back in 1996, though, when they realised the title wasn’t coming their way.
Whatever happens, Newcastle vs Liverpool tomorrow evening at the later Saturday kick-off time of 19:45 promises to be an absolute classic, and just as Manchester United were watching on hoping for a Liverpool win in ’96, Manchester City will be looking on hoping for a Newcastle win tomorrow.