Mark Lawrenson has given his verdict on the outcome of the north east derby.

The BBC pundit thought that Newcastle looked good going forward against Norwich but that the scoreline was much better than the actual performance.

Lawrenson says that he doesn’t rate Newcastle’s defence and that Sam Allardyce won’t give United the space and time that Norwich handed to Newcastle last weekend.

Whilst he believes Sunderland will be tight defensively, he thinks that Newcastle will have to do this as well, with the implication being that the mackems will sneak a goal at some point unless the defence plays a lot better than against Norwich.

Mark Lawrenson has sat on the fence and predicted a 1-1 draw but with two such poor defences, hopefully Steve McClaren will give Newcastle license to attack, within reason, as clearly United have the better attacking options.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“This is the fixture that Sunderland keep winning, they have won the last five, but they keep losing their manager a few months later.

“I think it will be a different outcome this time, though.”

Result better than performance:

“Newcastle looked good going forward when I watched them beat Norwich 6-2 but that result was far better than their performance – defensively I do not fancy them.

“I don’t think new Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce will look to open them up too often, though. He will be looking to keep things tight and I think Newcastle will tighten up too – they really have to.”