TIM Krul isn’t fazed by the prospect of facing in-form Liverpool – or former Newcastle United team-mate Andy Carroll.
Krul is expected to keep his place at Anfield on Saturday, having come in for the injured Steve Harper in the club’s last two games.
Harper returned to training this week after recovering from a knee problem that the club’s medical staff feared might need an operation.
However, having performed well in the draws against Blackpool and Manchester United, 24-year-old Krul is hopeful he will keep his place for a possible head-to-head with Carroll, who hopes to recover from a knee problem in time to play.
Krul and Carroll – who made their Newcastle debuts on the same night away to Palermo four and a half years ago – have faced each other at international level in a England-Holland Under-21 match.
That night, Krul kept a clean sheet in a goalless draw, and he’s relishing the prospect of playing against Carroll, if fit, and his strike partner Luis Suarez.
“It’s interesting, and I’m looking forward to this if he plays,” said Krul.
“Andy and Luis Suarez are two big players, and to see them together is amazing.
“To see Carroll again and face him would be good. We faced each other for the Under-21s. I want to keep my record against him.
“I’ve been sending a few texts back. Kevin (Nolan) has a good connection with him, and is always in contact.
“We made our debuts together in Palermo when we were young lads. It was an emotional night in Italy before it because we knew we were playing in a big Uefa Cup game.
“I always say to him he nicked my record because I would have been the youngest player (to play for Newcastle in Europe). He came on for a couple of minutes and nicked it off me!
“We’ve always been big mates. We came through the youth team and reserves together. It’s good to see him doing well, but we’ll have to make sure he doesn’t score against us.
“We’re going there with a good feeling, and we’re not scared. We want a top ten finish.”
Even if Carroll doesn’t play, Newcastle know Liverpool still possess a dangerous strikers in Suarez – who made his name at club level in Krul’s native Holland – and his countryman Dirk Kuyt.
“Suarez has been great at Liverpool, and was at Ajax,” Krul went on. “He can score from anywhere. All of his goals have been pretty special.
“When I have spoken to my friends from the Under-21s, or from Ajax, they don’t know how he does it.
“It’s looks like he’s taking a bad touch on purpose, but he has the speed to get round people.
“He’s so dangerous. We have to make sure we are ready for him.”