Our old friend Mark Lawrenson has described Newcastle United as being like a ‘runaway truck’ at the moment, hard to disagree with him after eight defeats in a row.

The former NUFC defensive coach however, also believes that the situation isn’t John Carver’s fault, choosing instead to lay the blame at the door of the Newcastle players.

Whilst they unndoubtedly deserve a massive part of the blame, surely the man who is paid to organise and motivate them has to also take his share of responsibility?

Lawrenson believes that West Brom will sit back and ‘wait for a chance to come their way’ – I’m guessing that if they have watched Newcastle at all in recent times, they will do the exact opposite and copy what Leicester did, pressurising the feeble United defence from the very first second.

Despite everything Mark Lawrenson says, he still predicts a 1-1 draw, something not many Newcastle fans will be confident of after the recent shambles.

Mark Lawrenson previewing the match for BBC Sport:

Things are going from bad to worse with Newcastle, who have now lost eight games in a row.

They have to face up to the real possibility of relegation because that sort of form is like a runaway truck, which is almost impossible to stop.

A lot of people are playing the blame game in the north east at the moment and the manager John Carver has been getting stick, even though it is not his fault that this situation has been allowed to develop.

The performance of some of the Magpies players has been nothing short of disgraceful recently and there are reports the squad had their own meeting this week.

If so, I would hope that one or two senior members of the team stood up and made it very clear that they all need to sort things out together. It is down to them to get the results.

You can guess how West Brom will approach this one – they will make things extremely difficult for the home team and wait for a chance to come their way.

It will not be an easy afternoon for Newcastle or their fans, but I have a feeling something might go their way at last. Even a draw at home would be a big achievement for them at the moment.

Prediction: 1-1

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