Former Liverpool star and current BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said that Roberto Firmino deserves more credit than he gets in predicting the club’s clash against Newcastle United on Saturday.
The Magpies will visit Anfield looking to bounce back from their disappointing draw against Bournemouth last weekend, manager Rafael Benitez seeing his side let a two goal lead slip in the final 10 minutes to settle for a 2-2 stalemate.
Liverpool meanwhile will play in front of their own fans for the second week in a row, having thrashed West Ham 4-1, Emre Can, Mohamed Salah, Firmino and Sadio Mane all getting on the score sheet.
However Lawrenson says that while it has been the Egyptian winger who has been stealing the headlines for his exploits this season, the Brazilian forward deserves much more recognition for his efforts following the exit of Philippe Coutinho in January.
Predicting a comfortable 2-0 win for the Reds, he wrote in his column on the BBC Sport website: “Everyone is raving about Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane’s form but Roberto Firmino has been outstanding too.
“Firmino has kicked on since Philippe Coutinho left for Barcelona in January, but Salah in particular has grabbed all the headlines. I think Firmino deserves more credit.
“This is a return to Anfield for Newcastle’s former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, but it probably won’t be a happy one.
“I am pretty sure Rafa will set his side up with the aim of getting a point this time, but I don’t think he will get it.”
Firmino has been in impressive form this season, netting 22 goals, 13 of which have come in the Premier League, as well as chipping in with 12 assists in his 38 appearances across all competitions.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at St James’ Park earlier in the campaign, Joselu’s equaliser cancelling out Coutinho’s stunning opening strike for the Reds.
In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has held confirmed talks with the agent of an outcast available for £3million.