Mark Lawrenson says big question is ‘Who is Rafa Benitez talking to about potential signings?”
Mark Lawrenson has been assessing two promoted teams.
The BBC Sport pundit says he definitely doesn’t see Brighton being relegated and indeed never has.
With Newcastle United though..
Once again Mark Lawrenson says that Rafa Benitez is the ‘huge positive’ at St James Park but other factors cloud the issue.
He says he is ‘worried’ for Newcastle as there appears to be no imminent conclusion to the takeover ‘saga’ and with the transfer window set to open in three days times, the Magpies clearly ‘need to bring in new players in January’.
Lawrenson asks just who is Rafa ‘…talking to about potential signings? Is i the current regime or the new people?’.
Amongst all the uncertainty, I definitely know who it is that Newcastle fans hope the United boss is talking to.
As for Saturday’s match, if Newcastle win then they they go above the visitors on goal difference, but Mark Lawrenson has gone for a 1-1 draw.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“Newcastle were very defensive against Manchester City on Wednesday night, even when they went 1-0 down, but Rafael Benitez’s aim was for his team to try to stay in the game until the end – and it almost worked because they nearly nicked a point.
“There will be a very different feeling about this game, against another promoted club – the Magpies have to try to win this one.
“Brighton lost at Chelsea on Boxing Day but they had taken four points from their previous two matches, and this will be another fixture that their boss Chris Hughton will have earmarked as one to get something out of.
“The Seagulls are only three points above Newcastle in the table but I just don’t see Hughton’s side getting relegated – I never really have.
“It is different with Newcastle, and I am little bit worried for them. The takeover of the club is turning into a long-running saga and they need to bring in new players in January.
“They have Benitez as manager, which is a huge positive, but who is he talking to about potential signings? Is it the current regime or the new people? It is a very difficult situation for them.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Brighton 1.”
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