Mark Lawrenson has looked ahead to the Norwich v Newcastle clash on Saturday afternoon.
At times you wonder exactly what the likes of Lawrenson get paid for, when it comes to giving their ‘expert’ view.
The lazy attitude summed up when the BBC pundit says that after Rob Elliot’s injury he is ‘still not sure who will replace him for the Magpies on Saturday’.
Not hard to work out that it will be Karl Darlow, who started the season as number two to Tim Krul until injury for the both of them, Darlow with three seasons as number one keeper at Forest in the Championship before arriving permanently this season at St James Park.
Mark Lawrenson has predicted Sunderland to get a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom but when it comes to Norwich v Newcastle, he sees that result for the mackems as a bit immaterial where the Magpies are concerned.
Predicting a 2-1 win for Norwich, Lawrenson says that United’s shoddy defence is the main reason why they are in relegation trouble but whilst that is undoubtedly true, Newcastle conceding 55 is only one worse than Norwich’s 54, so surely it is the same for both teams.
Whilst not many will predict anything similar to the 6-2 game at St James Park, an early goal either way would surely spark a frenetic 90 minutes, with the team conceding having nothing to lose by throwing everything at the opposition.
However, the longer the game goes on then one goal could well decide the result with Newcastle the team who will feel the most pressure to try and turn one point into three.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“I was at the Republic of Ireland’s friendly draw with Slovakia where Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliott was injured and I am still not sure who will replace him for the Magpies on Saturday.
“Newcastle’s defence is the biggest reason they are in the bottom three so, whoever does come in to play in goal, where is he going to get any confidence from? Good luck with that one.
“Norwich’s win at West Brom before the international break was massive, and just what they needed to set them up for the games they have coming up against the teams around them.
“After playing Newcastle, the Canaries are away at Crystal Palace (9 April) then home to Sunderland (16 April).
“At the very least, their aim will be to come through those three games unbeaten but, on Saturday, I fancy them to do better than that.”