Carroll has to be picked if Liverpool want to beat Newcastle

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All eyes with be on Andy Carroll as he prepares to make a first return to Newcastle since joining Liverpool and it is 5/1 that he marks the occasion with the opening goal at the Sports Direct Arena.

Carroll has twice faced his boyhood club since moving to Liverpool for £35m, but both of these encounters took place at Anfield and a far rougher reception awaits this time despite the amount of money he made Newcastle.

Kenny Dalglish may be tempted to start Carroll from the bench if he feels that nerves could negatively impact his performance, while he has hardly been in blistering scoring form.

Carroll has managed just two goals in his last 16 Liverpool appearances, while he has just one Premier League goal to his name since October.

But although Carroll is struggling for goals, Liverpool own a better record with him in their team than without him.

Liverpool have lost their last three games and failed to win in nine without Carroll in their starting line-up, which is a run that stretches back to a success at Aston Villa in December.

Meanwhile, they have won five of the last seven games in which he has started.

Alternatively, Carroll is available at 6/4 to find the target at any time in the 90 minutes against his former club.

Another player returning to Newcastle aside from Carroll and Dalglish is Jose Enrique.

For an attacking full-back, Enrique may look a big price at 14/1 to score at some point in the clash at the Sports Direct Arena, but he is still waiting for a first Premier League goal.

Enrique’s last goal came for Newcastle in the Championship against Nottingham Forest in March 2010.

Liverpool’s odds are 6/4 to beat Newcastle, as they have in Carroll’s last two appearances against his former club.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.