Mark Lawrenson has been looking ahead to Newcastle v Liverpool, as well as looking back at United’s defeat to Brighton last Sunday.
The BBC Sport pundit believes that despite winning three games in a row, Newcastle ‘have got a lot of work to do to stay in the Premier League’.
Lawrenson things that Newcastle struggled to create anything against Brighton, so wonders how they can ‘trouble the big teams’.
With Newcastle not playing any of the big teams on Sunday, such as Manchester City, Chelsea, or Manchester United, they could though still maybe have a chance against Liverpool???
Obviously Mark Lawrenson considers Liverpool an elite team up with that trio but after conceding 19 goals already this season in all competitions, including five alone against big team Man City, it is clear that this Liverpool team isn’t looking invincible by any stretch of the imagination.
I’m not claiming the scousers don’t pose a threat, because they obviously still have some very good players, but they have won only one game in September and that was thanks to Leicester having a penalty saved in a very close 3-2 win.
Mark Lawrenson claims that Rafa Benitez ‘would probably snap your hand off’ if offered a point now, which may well be the case.
However, Liverpool struggled to beat the worst team in the division, Crystal Palace, by just one goal. Whilst they went behind to Burnley at home, before equalising and ending that game in a 1-1 draw.
Going back to the Brighton game, Lawrenson is right in saying that Newcastle didn’t create a load of chance but neither did the Seagulls, a scenario which will be the case for many games around the Premier League this season for numerous clubs. If Joselu had put his chance from seven yards inside the post, then you would have fancied Newcastle to make it four wins on the bounce.
Amusing as well that Mark Lawrenson is happy to dismiss those three wins and not give credit for particularly the West Ham and Stoke games, where Rafa’s players created numerous chances – Joselu alone should have had a hat-trick against the Potters.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“After watching Newcastle’s defeat by Brighton last weekend, I was left thinking the Magpies have got a lot of work to do to stay in the Premier League.
“Yes, Rafael Benitez’s side had won their previous three matches but they did not create much against the Seagulls, let alone show that they have got anything to trouble the big teams.
“The Magpies are good at attacking set-pieces, and Liverpool are obviously not very good at defending them – but I think the Reds will keep a clean sheet too because other than free-kicks and corners, the home side might not offer very much.
“Newcastle’s defence is going to have to be one of their strengths this season, and under Rafael Benitez it will be.
“It will be fascinating to see how Benitez sets his team up, and they will be very competitive, but I don’t see them keeping his old club quiet.
“If you offered Rafa a point now he would probably snap your hand off – but I think Liverpool will take all three.”