Mark Lawrenson has been looking ahead to Saturday’s early Premier League kick-off in Wales.

A match which even this early in the season looks to be a huge game in terms of giving one of the clubs a massive lift and crucial momentum.

Both teams started with defeats and will be looking for a lift in their second match of the season.

Mark Lawrenson points to past friction between the managers, Rafa playing a weakened losing team against Fulham ahead of their Champions League final appearance in 2007, which helped send Warnock and Sheffield down into the Championship.

However, this ignores the fact that they (kind of) kissed and made up two seasons ago, when Newcastle beat Cardiff home and away on the way to promotion back to the top tier.

Personally, I think Newcastle have to go all out for the victory, as if they sit back and let Cardiff take the lead and then win, they could very well end up with no points after five games, with Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal following the Cardiff match.

Mark Lawrenson though thinks Newcastle will be ok this season whatever happens on Saturday, whilst with Cardiff he thinks it is a ‘different story.’

The BBC Sport pundit talks of the obvious gulf between ‘Championship and the Premier League’ but when you have an owner such as Mike Ashley who sits back and lets even Cardiff have a £50m higher net spend than Newcastle, it invites that gap to rapidly close.

Lawrenson predicts a 1-1 draw but I have a feeling that both managers will hope/expect nothing less than a win if it is going to give them some kind of platform for the coming weeks and months of hopeful survival.

Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:

“I thought Cardiff would put up a little bit more resistance than they did in their defeat at Bournemouth on the opening weekend.

“But what happened there has probably given them an indication of the gulf between the Championship and the Premier League.

“I would expect Neil Warnock’s side to make things a lot more difficult for Newcastle in their first home game back in the top flight, though.

“And the Bluebirds fans will play a part too – they have to, because Cardiff’s home form is going to play a huge role in their survival fight.

“I cannot see many goals in this, but the dynamic between the two managers is going to be great to watch, because Warnock and Magpies boss Rafael Benitez have a bit of history.

“Newcastle also lost their first game of the season, at home to Tottenham, but they put in a decent performance and I don’t see them (Newcastle) struggling this season. Cardiff are a different story, though.

“Prediction is Cardiff 1 Newcastle 1.”

Cardiff v Newcastle Match Betting:

Cardiff win 11/5Draw 21/10Newcastle win 31/20

Both teams to score in 1st half 4/1Rondon to score last goal 13/2NUFC win 2-0 21/2

All Cardiff v Newcastle betting HERE

  • SuperDesHamilton

    how dare Benitez play a weakened team before a CL final….

    Not like Warnock had 30 odd other games to try win points the dinner lady looking n*nce

  • Kenny

    Merse has forecast a 1-1 draw as well, i`m going for us to win

    • Monkseaton Magpies

      Hope so gone for two nil myself will get you pint at Three Bulls next home game.

  • Wor Lass

    Warnock is one of the most despicable people in sport. Remember him trying to get his players to leave the pitch and have a game called off? He sent one of his flunkies to listen at the Burnley dressing room door at half time and Stan Ternent ended up having a ding dong with him. He`s a [email protected] but butter doesn`t melt in his mouth when he creeps his way in with the Sky boys on a Sunday morning. I hope we spank them 20 nil!

    • Steven05

      If we win 0-20 that would be very very good 👍

    • Kenny

      he`d look at home in a mac flashing to the lasses down the Bigg Market.

    • NUFCLX

      For me he is one of the few managers who called it as it was, think he was the only manager who would come out openly and say the big clubs got favourable decisions from refs. I used to love his post match interviews.
      That is why he has said in previous interviews he prefers the championship, it is more of an even playing field.

      • Wor Lass

        Doesn`t stop him from being a complete n0b!

  • Big Hairy Man

    Is it really necessary to write an article about this Dinosoar’s predictions? They are nearly always wrong. His commentary is so depressing I needed to switch off during the World Cup. He even accused France of playing negative football. Anyone would think that articles about Lawrenson, Owen and Paul (nose candy) Merson’s predictions were clickbait for BetVictor.