Mark Lawrenson has been looking ahead to Newcastle United’s clash with Everton on Saturday teatime.

The former red scouser thinks that Everton are underachieving at the moment with the quality that they have got available.

However, the BBC pundit thinks they have to improve at the back if they are going to progress this season, a view that is backed up by the fact that Everton haven’t kept a clean sheet for over three months in the Premier League, apart from when a hopeless Aston Villa were stuffed 4-0 at Goodison Park.

Speaking of a hopeless Aston Villa….Mark Lawrenson expected Newcastle to comfortably make it three wins in a row last Saturday and he thinks that the fact United weren’t capable of that, sends out warning signals.

With Newcastle only staying out of the relegation zone due to Swansea’s failure to beat West Ham on Sunday, Lawrenson thinks the Villa game highlighted the Magpies’ mental and physical fragility.

However, he does think that another game unbeaten will have added a little confidence.

The bottom line though is that Mark Lawrenson has predicted a 2-1 win for the visitors, a result which could well send Newcastle back into that bottom three.

Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:

“I expected Newcastle to roll Aston Villa over and make it three wins on the run.

“But Villa came back to earn a point, highlighting that Newcastle are mentally fragile and sometimes physically fragile too.

“But the 1-1 draw means it is three games without defeat which is important for their confidence.

“Everton, for the ability they have got, are underachieving.

“They have some real quality in that side, look really good on the ball and have got it right going forward. But individually and collectively they need to improve defensively.”