Benitez has axed big-money buys Jonjo Shelvey, Alex Mitrovic and Gini Wijnaldum, resurrected the Toon careers of Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote and found a new leader in Jamaal Lascelles.
Against City, Newcastle performed with an energy and intensity which if replicated this weekend , won’t allow Liverpool to boss proceedings in the way they did the Merseyside derby.
An Anfield allergy and a nasty dose of travel sickness point to an easy home win but if the visitors can avoid conceding their customary early goal, don’t rule out a surprise.
A Newcastle win would lift them above both Sunderland and Norwich and make them favourites of the three to stay up.
But a note of caution. Taking away that win 23 years ago this month, Newcastle’s only league triumph at Anfield in almost seven decades came in 1988 when Mirandinha and John Hendrie scored.
And Newcastle were relegated that season.