Recent days have seen Mark Lawrenson express his amazement that Steve McClaren hasn’t done better at Newcastle.

Lawrenson said that whether you gave the United players a carrot or hit them with a stick, you wouldn’t get any positive reaction.

The pundit seeing the problem clearly is with the squad rather than the Head Coach.

Now talking to BBC Sport, Mark Lawrenson has moderated his message and put his stick (and carrot) away but the message is still the same.

He still believes that McClaren has tried everything with his current team and so the only option is radical changes to the team selection.

Lawrenson doubts whether this will work as the other options look so poor in a squad lacking strength but like the rest of us, he thinks what is there to lose?

When it comes to Liverpool though, there are no such problems.

With Mark Lawrenson predicting a 2-0 away win for the team who have the best away form in the Premier League.

On top of that, Jurgen Klopp has vastly improved their overall results since his arrival and the 6-1 midweek league cup win at Southampton, despite a number of changes, makes the Newcastle task look even more daunting.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Steve McClaren has tried pretty much everything to get a reaction from his Newcastle players – from talking them up and giving them praise to criticising them.

“I don’t know if his squad is strong enough for wholesale changes but maybe that is his best way of getting a result? I just don’t know if they will have the tools for the job to be honest.

“Liverpool’s away form is the best in the Premier League and the other good news for Jurgen Klopp is that his problem up front is now that he has to pick from a lot of players who are coming back rather than the number of players he has out.

“The Reds have got real momentum at the moment. I am inclined to put Tottenham down in that category but Liverpool’s is better and their confidence is sky-high at the moment.”

Elsewhere, Paul Merson and John Barnes have also predicted defeat for Newcastle United against Liverpool.