EDDIE HOWE has hinted January recruit Anthony Gordon could be in line for an "interesting" first Newcastle start against Everton's rivals Liverpool.

Gordon, a £40m addition from the Toffees last month, made his second appearance for his new club off the bench in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Bournemouth.

The highly-rated attacker featured in the number ten position as part of a 4-2-3-1 system for the Magpies, who moved away from Howe's trusted 4-3-3 formation in the stalemate at his old club.

Howe mixed up his in tactics largely due to Bruno Guimaraes' suspension and following the enforced withdrawal of Joe Willock with a hamstring issue.

Willock's injury was described as a concern by his manager, who will again be light of midfield options for the visit of Liverpool on Saturday.

Asked if Gordon's 30-minute cameo on the south coast had put him in the frame to start next weekend, Howe admitted: “Yeah, he has.

“It will be interesting! But I have to say he's trained really well, played really well in the two games he has had and we're delighted with him.

“Yeah, I think at times you have to be flexible. You can have a preferred way of playing but we'll always be able to tweak certain personnel or systems and you have to.

The Northern Echo: Newcastle United forward Anthony GordonNewcastle United forward Anthony Gordon (Image: PA)

“We were quite prepared to do that, we were prepared to do it and we knew it was an option for us. Anthony came on and did really well in that central zone.”

Gordon has faced Liverpool three times in his fledgling career, losing his first two Merseyside derbies before a goalless draw with Jurgen Klopp's side in September.

Weeks earlier, one of the Reds' better results of an inconsistent campaign occurred when they secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over Newcastle at Anfield thanks to a 98th-minute winner from Fabio Carvalho.

It remains the Magpies' only league defeat of the season and they have embarked on an excellent 17-match unbeaten top-flight run that has propelled them into the Champions League qualification fight.

“It was a very painful experience, I'll tell you that,” Howe reflected. “With a minute to go, well seconds left when we conceded the second.

"It was a painful experience but maybe it did ignite our fires and do something to make us more resolute to respond in a positive way.

“We have since that game. We look forward to the match. We go against Liverpool, it is always a difficult game but it is something to look forward to.”