Mark Lawrenson has looked ahead to the Leicester v Newcastle match on Monday night.

The BBC pundit thinks that the Foxes are ‘destined to be champions’ this season currently  standing five points clear at the top with nine games remaining.

Mark Lawrenson wants Leicester to go on and win the league and believes that no matter who Newcastle have in charge by Monday, they will have added another three points to their title push.

With the current shambles at St James Park I don’t think any of us would disagree with Lawrenson’s forecast of a 2-0 home win, probably most Newcastle fans would believe that we’d got off relatively lightly with that scoreline.

Of course things can change quickly in football and if Newcastle do appoint Benitez before that game then surely it would give everybody a lift, including the players.

Sadly, instead of bringing in the/a new man straight after the Chelsea hammering, or at worst having someone lined up in case the Bournemouth match went badly, we have instead had this embarrassing week of the media running around making things up as Newcastle United do….who knows?

Mark Lawrenson says that if Leicester win the league, it will be the greatest achievement since Forest did it in 1978 (just one of the years when Newcastle have previously been relegated).

If Newcastle end up going down, you would have to rank it as the biggest mess under Mike Ashley since at least…2009, only seven years ago.

This being the third relegation fight in four seasons, if Rafa Benitez does commit long-term to Newcastle then it would surely signal that at last Ashley has accepted his way of running a club equals certain failure.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“As things stand, Steve McClaren is still in charge of Newcastle but we don’t know if there will be a new man in the dug-out by the time this game kicks off.

“Whoever the Magpies manager is, they face a very tough task on Monday.

“Leicester have got an air about them that says they think they can win the league. They have continued to pick up points without playing well and results have been going their way, which will help convince their players that they can do it.

“I want them to win it too – they have played the best football and they have tried to win every game, even when they have been behind – and they are destined to be champions.

“It would be great if they won it by something like six points so people cannot say they have nicked it, but those who say this is the biggest turnaround by a team in the space of a year are wrong.

“The best achievement like that was when Nottingham Forest won the title as a newly promoted team in 1978. That usurps Leicester, but only just.”