Alan Shearer tells Liverpool exactly what Newcastle United 'can't handle' ahead of New Year's clash

Alan Shearer has been speaking about Newcastle United's issues ahead of their trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on New Year's Day.

Liverpool have been told how they can defeat Newcastle United on New Year's Day. The Reds are battling it out with Arsenal for top spot currently, but it gets no easier, with European hopefuls Newcastle next in town.

Though, Eddie Howe's men haven't matched the standards they set last season so far, now in eighth spot and eight points off the top four after their surprise home defeat to Nottingham Forest last time out. Former striker Chris Wood scored a hat-trick to defeat the Magpies, and it was not a performance Howe will have been pleased with.

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There is, of course, a danger Liverpool could face a Newcastle side desperate to bounce back, but it seems there are some tactical issues Howe needs to address ahead of his side's trip to Anfield. At least that's according to Magpies legend Alan Shearer, who believes there are issues in the midfield at present.

"If you have a look at Newcastle's three midfielders. All of a sudden they lose the ball, and with two passes into [Morgan] Gibbs-White, look at the space he's got. It ends up four v four," Shearer said of Forest's first goal.

"If you just watch Chris Wood's run, he makes one run for the defender at the near post, then checks back. All of a sudden the defender's gone and he's got a tap in. It's fantastic play from Forest. They did it so many times as Newcastle just couldn't handle it.”

Speaking about the second Forest goal, Shearer added: "Same thing again, one pass and he's [Elanga] away from Newcastle's midfield. He goes straight through, into that back four again, and he's [Wood] left one v one and turns Dan Burn inside out. It's such a clever finish. And again [for the third goal]. A high line and there's no pressure on the ball, which we know you can't do."