Liverpool striker Andy Carroll admits he is nervous ahead of his first return to Newcastle United following his move from the north east during last year's January transfer window.

The 23-year-old made the £35 million switch 14 months ago, but has failed to light up Anfield, having scored just eight goals since the move.

Carroll is expected to be the victim of a deluge of abuse come Sunday's fixture, and the England international admits he's apprehensive about the return to his old stomping ground.

"I don't usually get nervous but this might be a bit different," he said.

"All of my family and friends will be there but they're so big on football I'm not sure who they'll be supporting."

"It's great to see Newcastle doing so well," he added. "I support them, was brought up there and was lucky enough to have played for them. They will always mean something."

Newcastle lead Liverpool by eight points in the Premier League table, and victory this weekend will all but secure sixth spot in the Premier League, which could lead to a Europa League spot next season.

For Liverpool, who already have a place in Europe guaranteed after their Carling Cup victory, defeat will all-but mathematically mean they miss out on Champions League qualification and therefore will concentrate solely on the FA Cup semi-final against Everton.

Carroll's last goal came in the demolition of Brighton & Hove Albion in February, and he will be eyeing a hugely unpopular intervention this weekend to help Liverpool close the gap.

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