Paul Merson says that Newcastle United could have had a ‘free swing’ this weekend.
Having beaten Man Utd and being two up against Bournemouth, the Sky Sports pundit believes it was a ‘huge disappointment for Newcastle’ to only pick up a point.
Merson adding that ‘winning back to back games in a relegation scrap can be massive’.
Dropping points from two goals up is obviously gutting and winning any game is important when you are fighting relegation, never mind being victorious twice in a row.
However, it is a little simple when Paul Merson chooses to compare Newcastle with Huddersfield.
He praises Huddersfield for beating Bournemouth and West Brom in their last two matches, meaning that (according to him) they have a ‘free swing’ against Tottenham this weekend.
However, over the last seven games Newcastle have picked up nine points compared to Huddersfield’s six, whilst the last 10 matches have seen Newcastle pick up 14 to David Wagner’s team’s 10.
Despite that Bournemouth late shocker, Newcastle have built up some solid form in the past 11 weeks, only losing to Man City in the Premier League. A continuation of that form would see Rafa’s team well safe this season whilst Huddersfield had been on a massive downward slump, with five straight defeats before these last two wins.
Paul Merson predicts Newcastle will make it difficult for Liverpool on Saturday and that the scousers will need to be ‘fully focused on getting a result’.
He predicts a ‘hard-fought’ 2-1 home win but Rafa Benitez is yet to ever lose a Premier League match to Liverpool.
A continuation of that on Saturday would be very welcome.
Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:
“Last week’s result was a huge disappointment for Newcastle.
“Having won the week before and to be 2-0 up away from home, winning back-to-back games in a relegation scrap can be massive.
“We saw that with Huddersfield.
“It can give you that free swing in a game you’re not expected to win.
“Huddersfield can go into the Tottenham game this weekend and if they lose it’s no big deal.
“They did their job in the previous weeks (beating Bournemouth and West Brom after losing five in a row).
“Newcastle could have had that with victory at Bournemouth.
“They will make things difficult for Liverpool though, who will be fully focused on getting a result.
“They’ve got Champions League next midweek but after their first leg result, they should not be taking their eyes off Newcastle.
“They need as many points as possible before the Champions League quarter-finals, starting with a hard-fought win over Newcastle on Saturday.
“Prediction is Liverpool 2 Newcastle 1.”
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