Mark Lawrenson has taken a look at the Stoke v Newcastle clash on Wednesday night.
Stoke have already beaten Newcastle’s relegation rivals Norwich, Aston Villa and Bournemouth at home and he expects the Magpies to join that group of defeated teams.
With Stoke currently in eighth position and only five points off fifth, Mark Lawrenson describes this fixture as one that Newcastle don’t ‘need right now’.
The last five visits have seen Newcastle lose four, with only Demba Ba’s hat-trick in 2011 breaking that run of defeats.
Lawrenson describes Stoke as having a number of match winners and this is where Newcastle are probably the weakest, top scorer Wijnaldum hasn’t even scored away from home and none of the other 91 teams in the top four divisions has scored as few as Newcastle’s seven away goals.
Arnautovic was Stoke’s match winner against Villa on Saturday with two goals but Newcastle’s shocking defence (only Norwich and Sunderland have conceded more) looks feeble against any attack, never mind some of the quality players such as Shaqiri that the Potters have managed to acquire.
Mark Lawrenson has predicted a 2-0 win for Stoke and with our defence looking incapable of keeping a clean sheet, certainly away from home, we desperately need to find some goals from somewhere.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“Stoke are going well – previously they struggled a bit for goals but on a good day they have now got more than one match-winner, which makes a big difference.
“Newcastle, who remain in the relegation zone, have not had a game for 18 days and have been at a training camp in Spain.
“This is not the game they need right now and I just do not fancy their chances at the Britannia Stadium.”
In the other midweek games, Mark Lawrenson has predicted wins for Sunderland and Bournemouth but defeats for Norwich, Villa and Swansea, a set of results that would leave the Premier League looking like this:
16 Aston Villa