Mark Lawrenson has been looking at Newcastle United’s chances of a result this afternoon at Bournemouth.
The BBC Sport pundit says that with so many clubs involved in the relegation scrap ‘there are going to be games like this one between struggling sides every week’.
Today you also have Brighton v Swansea and West Brom v Huddersfield, then next weekend, whilst Newcastle are at Liverpool, you have Southampton v Stoke, Swansea v West Ham and Watford v West Brom.
As you can see from the current Premier League table below, only six points cover Bournemouth in 10th down to Stoke in 19th.
The table looks a whole lot better after that win over Man Utd, as defeat would have meant Newcastle keeping company with West Brom and Stoke ahead of today’s game.
Mark Lawrenson believes that Newcastle’s win over a Manchester United team who have a number of individuals who each cost more than Rafa’s entire starting 11, proves ‘what a strange division the Premier League is’.
Despite that victory at St James Park 13 days ago, Lawrenson predicts a 1-1 draw, which wouldn’t be the worst result for either club.
However, three points is a massive carrot for both sides, if Bournemouth won it would surely see them all but safe, whilst for Rafa Benitez, victory would take them above Eddie Howe’s team and possibly into the top half.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“There are so many teams involved in the relegation scrap that there are going to be games like this one between struggling sides every week.
“Everyone from 10th placed Bournemouth downwards is in trouble, including Newcastle.
“And all of the teams involved would need to get on a run where they win, say, four out of five games to reach safety. I don’t see it happening.
“The Cherries have strung together some positive results in the past but they are capable of throwing in a performance like they did in their 4-1 defeat at Huddersfield last time out.
“Newcastle, meanwhile, beat Manchester United which was a great result for them and showed what a strange division the Premier League is.
“The Magpies will move level on points with Bournemouth if they beat them, but a draw is a more likely outcome.
“Prediction is Bournemouth 1 Newcastle 1.”
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