Michael Owen has been looking ahead to the Norwich v Newcastle game on Saturday.

The former United striker/wage stealer thinks the game will be far different from the openness crazy basketball style of the 6-2 at St James Park.

Michael Owen points to the improvement Norwich have made in their defence.

After losing five consecutive matches and conceding three or more in each of them, Norwich have followed that up with conceding two goals or less in all of their last seven games.

This has finally paid dividends in terms of points, with consecutive clean sheets helping them to four points, which has taken them three points and two places clear of Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez has also helped Newcastle to look a little better defensively in his two games so far, a goal in each compares favourably with the nine that were leaked in Steve McClaren’s final trio of games.

What effect losing Rob Elliot will have is an unknown, though at least Chancel Mbemba’s return has definitely helped at that end of the pitch.

Michael Owen felt that at least Newcastle showed ‘fight’ to come back against Sunderland but it still remains tough for Newcastle to carve out many chances.

Owen goes for a 1-1 draw and it is hard to argue with that forecast, though that scoreline would suit the Canaries far more than the Magpies.

Michael Owen writing for Colossus Bets:

“Neither side will be happy with a draw…but I take the Norwich-Newcastle match to end all square at 1-1.

“That is a far cry from the scoreline when these two sides met at St James Park in October, when the home side won 6-2.

“But Norwich have tightened up their defence in recent weeks and have given themselves a chance of survival with a 0-0 draw against Man City and a 1-0 win at West Brom.

“Newcastle need to start winning soon if they are to give themselves a chance and their away record doesn’t give you much hope.

“But they at least showed more fight in the second half against Sunderland and could take a point here.”