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Saturday, 4 May 2019

WILL RAFA THWART LIVERPOOL DREAM?



Rafa Benitez's place in the hearts of Liverpool fans could be sorely tested when Newcastle host the title chasers at St James' Park on Saturday evening.
Liverpool can return to the Premier League summit with a win over Newcastle - a result that would move them two points clear of Manchester City in an enthralling race that has seen the lead change hands 30 times.
But Benitez - the man responsible for Liverpool's incredible 2005 Champions League triumph and FA Cup win the following year - could finally put an end to Liverpool's historic title challenge with victory in what may be the Spaniard's final home game in the north east.
"I was talking with (managing director) Lee Charnley this week and we will let you know as soon as we have more news," he said. "At the moment, it's just we have had another talk and we'll continue talking."
Asked further if the talks had been positive, the 59-year-old replied: "Yes."
But he has more immediate concerns. Having done his old side a favour by beating Manchester City in January, will he undo all that with a Newcastle victory in the Sky Live clash? And what chance of mixed emotions for the man who managed the Reds for 350 games between 2004 and 2010?
"We have to do our job," he said. "My relationship with Liverpool is there, the memories and trophies. But we have to be professional. (Jurgen) Klopp will want to win for his fans too.
"I was tempted to bring with me the picture the Liverpool fans made for me after the win over Man City saying thank you. I have friends in the Liverpool camp and the City camp. I have good relationships with both Klopp and (Pep) Guardiola so I'll be trying to win. Klopp hasn't called, I didn't want to talk to him or Pep just in case you asked this question."

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