Mark Lawrenson predicted a win for Newcastle against Leicester, as he thought that the victory at Bournemouth could prove a ‘turning point’ for United and Steve McClaren.

That one didn’t exactly turn out as predicted…

Lawrenson sees Saturday’s match as big for both Steve McClaren and Alan Pardew, though considering where Newcastle are in the table, it is the United Head coach who will be feeling the strain more.

Sunderland won at Selhurst Park on Monday night by putting in a very defensive based performance which limited Crystal Palace to few opportunities, then took one of the very few they created.

Mark Lawrenson (pictured above in his playing days up against Gazza) doesn’t believe Newcastle are capable of grabbing a win based on a solid defence and thinks it will be a ‘more open’ game than the Sunderland one.

Lawrenson predicts a 1-1 draw which realistically would on the face of it would probably be a decent result for Newcastle.

However, Sunderland’s win means that both they and Bournemouth are only one point behind Newcastle now and if either of them were to get a point and Newcastle lost, then United would drop back into the relegation zone.

Mark Lawrenson predicts 2-1 home wins for both Sunderland (v Stoke) and Bournemouth (v Everton), then with bottom club Aston Villa also at home to Watford, Newcastle will have to upset the odds this weekend to avoid a worsening of their position against their relegation competition.

Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:

“This is a big game for Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew against his former club, but probably an even bigger one for Newcastle manager Steve McClaren.

“I thought that the Magpies would build on their win at Bournemouth when they played Leicester but they ended up being taken apart.

“Palace will be expecting to win but then they expected to beat Sunderland on Monday night too, and they did not create many opportunities in that game.

“In fairness to the Black Cats, they got what they came for which was a clean sheet and a win, but Newcastle cannot play like that so this game will be more open.”