Mark Lawrenson things confidence levels ‘will be very low’ for everybody at Newcastle United.
With four defeats in a row, going to the Hawthorns on a cold and windy Tuesday night in late November might not be the best game to have lined up next.
In contrast, Mark Lawrenson sees the depression maybe lifting at West Brom, with the departure of Tony Pulis transforming the mood.
A draw under caretaker Gary Megson at Wembley on Saturday won’t have done any harm either.
The pessimist in you feeling that this game could maybe have come at exactly the wrong time for Newcastle, before new manager-elect Alan Pardew has had time to come in and drag the West Brom players and fans back down.
At his press conference earlier today, Rafa Benitez didn’t have any positive news on the injury front, so apart from Isaac Hayden who was suspended on Saturday and now returns, the United boss will have the same squad to choose from.
No reason why Newcastle can’t go to the Hawthorns and get at least a point, especially if Mikel Merino is able to start this one and maybe Hayden as well to be accommodated, with Rafa looking to get back to a more energetic competitive line-up, especially in the middle of the pitch.
Another game that is very hard to call but one where we desperately need the players to bounce back and grab at least a draw before Chelsea on Saturday.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“West Brom played very well at Wembley under caretaker manager Gary Megson and it looks as though he will be in charge again for this game.
“It feels like a good time to play Newcastle, who have lost four games in a row, because their confidence will be very low.
“There will also be a very different atmosphere at The Hawthorns compared to previous weeks because many Baggies supporters wanted Tony Pulis out.
“This is their first home game since his departure so some of their fans will be celebrating that.
“Prediction: West Brom 2 Newcastle 1.”
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