Mark Lawrenson believes that Chelsea are fortunate they are up against Newcastle this weekend.
The BBC pundit thinks they will really miss Diego Costa who eventually saw justice done, when he received a three match retrospective ban after his antics last weekend against Arsenal.
Despite being without Costa, Lawrenson predicts that Jose Mourinho’s team will build on that win against the Gunners, thanks to Newcastle’s current deficiencies – especially the fact United have only scored three goals in six Premier League matches.
Even if Newcastle get beat, the former Liverpool player believes it is vital that the players show their commitment with a ‘big performance’ in front of their supporters.
Mark Lawrenson still believes Steve McClaren will come through this tough introduction to life at Newcastle United but with Lawrenson predicting a 2-0 win for Chelsea, United will go to Manchester City joint bottom of the Premier League….at best.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“Diego Costa’s antics and ban mean that, once again, we are not talking about Chelsea playing well against Arsenal and looking more like the champions from last season.
“Instead the attention is on the dubious behaviour of another individual at the club.
“Chelsea will miss Costa, so they are probably fortunate they are up against Newcastle on Saturday because the Magpies are all over the place at the moment.”
McClaren to survive:
“I still think Newcastle boss Steve McClaren will come through this but he has got a lot of problems at the moment, and scoring goals is one of them.
“It is important they put on a big performance on Saturday in front of their own fans because they have got to come across as having a real go.
“Even if they do, I don’t think it will be enough because Chelsea will have too much know-how for them – I can see them sitting in at St James’ Park and waiting to take their chance.”