Mark Lawrenson says it is good news that a takeover at Newcastle could be imminent.
However, he adds that it is unfortunate that hopes of a change at the top have coincided with a run of seven defeats and a draw in the last eight games.
The BBC Sport pundit saying that Rafa Benitez has to ‘find a way to stop the rot’, after trying various things without success.
Hopes have been raised that with a takeover imminent it could mean Rafa having more money to spend than expected in January, with Amanda Staveley’s bidders reportedly willing to give go ahead to transfer funds ahead of the final deal being completed.
However, on Thursday night Sky Sports reported that contrary to the rumours, Staveley’s increased bid still included a clause entitling the buyer to compensation from Mike Ashley in the event of relegation this season.
Lawrenson can only see one outcome in this game and tips a 3-0 home win, saying that after a few indifferent results ‘the team you want to play next is the one on a run like Newcastle are.
The BBC Sport guest predictor this week is WWE wrestler John Cena and he predicts/hopes for an upset.
His partner’s brother is an Arsenal supporter, so in the best spirit of sporting fair play, he naturally wants the other team to win!
John Cena goes for a 1-0 win to Newcastle.
Hopefully his prediction is a little bit more realistic than WWE…
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“The story at Newcastle is now as much about what is happening off the pitch as it is on it, because it would appear a deal for a takeover is imminent.
“That is good news, but the trouble is their results have been so bad they are in a situation now where they somehow have to find a way to stop the rot.
“Magpies boss Rafa Benitez has been trying to change things, without success.
“The outcome is still the same, and it is usually a defeat – they have picked up only one point from their past eight games and are sliding towards the relegation zone.
“As for Arsenal, well they are wobbling a bit with two points from their past three games.
“But, if you are having a hiccup like that, the team you want to play next is the one on a run like Newcastle are – which is why I am going for a Gunners win here.
“Prediction is Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0.”
“These are two teams I am mildly familiar with because [his partner] Nicole’s brother JJ is a huge Arsenal fan.
“So, I am going to have to pick Newcastle here, just to get him all riled up. Arsenal 0 Newcastle 1.”
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