Alan Pardew believes that Newcastle United are capable of pulling off a win against a “vulnerable” Liverpool team on Sunday.
The Magpies’ boss insists that the Reds are favourites for the tie due to their historical dominance but believes that the changes in the side being implemented by Brendan Rodgers have temporarily weakened the Anfield outfit.
Pardew told reporters: “There’s a little bit more pressure at Liverpool because of the stature and the trophies that they’ve won.
“You have to look at Newcastle and say we haven’t won a trophy in so long. You’d have to put them, historically, much higher than us.
“It’s a period for Brendan and the team when they’re evolving and when they’re evolving they’re vulnerable.
“Perhaps they are at the moment but they still have some fantastic players. The England captain [Steven Gerrard] and [Luis] Suarez are two of the best players in the Premiership so we have to make sure we are very much on top of our game.”
Pardew was able to develop the Magpies into a side that challenged for a Champions League spot last season after initial displeasure at his appointment and has urged similar patience with Rodgers at Anfield, insisting the Ulsterman must be given “the right tools” in order to bring success back to the Reds.
“You have to remember that Brendan Rodgers is someone who was brought in to play a style of football and a vision they believe in,” Pardew said.
“They have to give him time and the right tools. In the last window, if I’m honest, I don’t think he was given the tools that he needed so I think it was always going to be difficult for him.
“Hopefully he will get to the next window in a good competitive place, as that’s what Liverpool want to be, one of the top teams.
“I think for British football it’s good that Liverpool have a strong side, like Newcastle. We’re both striving to be a top-six team.
“I still think we’re two very good sides and it will be a cracking game.
“Both of us have ambitions, us again to finish in the top six, hopefully the top four, and that’s what we’re going to stick with.”