Former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor has warned the Reds that they will have to be patient when they take on a defensively solid Newcastle United outfit on Boxing Day.

Liverpool are yet to lose a game in the Premier League and will hope to strengthen their position at the top of the table when they host Rafael Benitez’s side.

The Reds are unlikely to have it all their way, however, as Newcastle have picked up more points on their travels than at home, and have conceded just seven times in eight away games.

Mellor expects Newcastle to be sturdy at the back and believes Liverpool will have to be patient and look for the openings to hurt Benitez’s side.

“One of the strengths [of Newcastle United] under Rafa Benitez is they don’t give too much away”, Mellor said on LFC TV.

“They have played eight away games in the Premier League this season. You think a struggling side must have conceded 15 goals.

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“Seven goals, that’s all they have conceded away from home this season.

“So it’s a little reminder that they will look to frustrate us.

“We might have to be patient at times, but that’s one of the strengths, they are really organised defensively."

Liverpool have a four-point lead over closest rivals Manchester City and have a crucial period coming up in the league.

The Reds will take on Arsenal in the coming weekend after the clash against Newcastle, and then travel to the Etihad to take on Manchester City next week.