Mark Lawrenson has outdone himself this week.
When it comes to predicting football matches we can all be made fools of but when it comes to other easier to call areas…
Let’s start with statistics…
Mark Lawrenson when analysing the upcoming Newcastle v Crystal Palace match, stats that Crystal Palace are ‘on a good run in the Premier League’.
This is Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace who have won one of their last 18 Premier League matches!
Lawrenson backs this up by saying Palace have only lost one of their last five but he could also have said that they have only won one of their last five (or 18…) and that was a lucky 1-0 home win over relegation favourites Norwich.
On the subject of Alan Pardew, Mark Lawrenson says that the current mess at St James Park has nothing to do with him (Pardew).
Well he can’t be blamed for the players recruited in the past 10 months but nine of the 11 players who started against both Manchester City and Liverpool were brought in when Alan Pardew was in charge. I think very fair to say that Pardew helped put the foundations in place for this season’s likely relegation, just as he did when United almost went down in 2013 and last season (2014/15).
The real classic from Mark Lawrenson though is this ‘Some of their fans might realise now that he was actually a good manager for Newcastle and…I think he (Pardew) will get a good reception (from the Newcastle fans)’.
Well Mark, most Newcastle fans know fine well that Mike Ashley is where all the problems start at St James Park but he has only managed to create the ongoing shambolic situation with the help of people such as Derek Llambias, Alan Pardew, Sam Allardyce, John Carver, Steve McClaren, Lee Charnley, Joe Kinnear, Dennis Wise and others.
Mark Lawrenson predicts a 2-0 victory for Newcastle over Crystal Palace and told BBC Sport:
“Crystal Palace are on a good run in the Premier League – they have only lost once in five games – and now they are in the FA Cup final as well.
“Newcastle’s form has picked up too and you could argue this game is their cup final, which is why I am backing them to win it.
“It adds a little bit of spice that this is Alan Pardew’s first game back at St James’ Park since he left Newcastle to take charge of Palace last year, but not much.
“Pardew has moved on and so have Newcastle. Their current predicament has nothing to do with him.
“Some of their fans might realise now that he was actually a good manager for Newcastle and, subsequently, I think he will get a good reception.”