Mark Lawrenson was convinced Newcastle would lose at Old Trafford last weekend and having failed on that one, he is back again.
The BBC pundit tips Newcastle to get beat 2-1 despite his admission that Arsenal fans are already getting on Arsene Wenger’s back because of ‘only’ four points out of nine.
Lawrenson reckons Steve McClaren would have been ‘delighted’ with the display against Manchester United, saying it was clear that the players really played for each other.
Acknowledging that Newcastle have had a tough run of opening games, he feels that this won’t change today.
Mark Lawrenson thinking that whereas Newcastle could defend really deep at Old Trafford, in today’s game United will have to attack more and that the Gunners will ‘pick them off’.
A defeat could send Newcastle into the bottom three and despite having what looks a difficult four game opening, it still doesn’t change the fact that it would create extra pressure over the 16 day wait before the next game at West Ham. Another match that Newcastle won’t be favourites for.
It isn’t a disaster if Newcastle get nothing today but I think in terms of creating momentum as early as possible in the season, it would be a massive help to put in a good performance AND get at least a point.
Fans are pinning a lot of faith in Mitrovic and Thauvin adding a cutting edge but the other players have to take responsibility as well, especially those who have been at St James Park a little longer.
Mark Lawrenson on BBC Sport:
‘Newcastle are still waiting for their first league win but they are on a tough run of games – in Southampton, Swansea and Manchester United, they have already played three teams I expect to finish in the top half of the table.
I would say the same about Arsenal, obviously, although they have had a mixed start to the season. Some of their fans already seem to be chasing Gunners boss Arsene Wenger again, which is unbelievable.
The Magpies will be delighted with their performance in their 0-0 draw at Old Trafford last week – they really played for each other which is very encouraging for their manager Steve McClaren.
But this week will be different because I think Newcastle will have to come out a little bit more, and I have a feeling that Arsenal will pick them off.’