Mark Lawrenson predicted Newcastle wouldn’t be able to handle Wilfried Zaha last weekend and would lose to Crystal Palace.
Now he says it will be the pace of Jamie Vardy and the rest of the Leicester attack that the Newcastle defence won’t be able to handle on Saturday, with an away victory very much on the cards.
The least of Newcastle’s worries are the defence, Martin Dubravka has been very good as per last season, whilst Lascelles and Fernandez are looking to be just as solid a rock as Lejeune and the Newcastle United captain proved to be in the latter months of last season.
There is no doubt that a freescoring Newcastle attack looks unlikely this season and the club’s announcement that Salomon Rondon has now got a thigh injury, is the last thing Rafa needed ahead of the first home match of the season where NUFC are expected to get something.
The bookies actually making a Newcastle win the most likely outcome of the three possible results.
A bit strange considering Leicester are no mugs and Newcastle have only won one of their last 12 matches, with 9 defeats and 2 draws.
Usually very sympathetic to Rafa Benitez, no doubt due to the Liverpool connection, nevertheless Mark Lawrenson declares ‘There is a lot of goodwill towards Benitez from the Newcastle fans, but he has got start getting some points.’
The BBC Sport pundit following that by saying ‘At the moment, there is still an awful lot of noise coming from supporters about Mike Ashley and how he needs to spend more money on players, but they should park that until the transfer window opens in January.’
It is all very well telling everybody to forget about Mike Ashley but for Newcastle fans, their loathing of the club’s owner is about far more than spending a few more quid on players.
Obviously the ridiculous way Mike Ashley has treated Rafa Benitez with regard to transfer ‘backing’ is the most obvious, and even on just that one issue, match after match it is impossible not to feel the impact of a lack of spending, especially in the forward areas.
Bookies and neutrals might see Newcastle at home to Leicester as a great chance to pick up points for the Magpies but simple fact is, when it comes to investment in the team, Newcastle are light years behind the Foxes, and a win for the clack and whites would be a real triumph in adversity.
Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:
“Newcastle got a draw at Crystal Palace last weekend, but I will never know how Mamadou Sakho missed an easy chance to win it for the Eagles late on.
“Rafa Benitez’s side need to find a way to start winning games, though, and I cannot see that happening on Saturday.
“With the pace that Leicester have got in their attack, I can see them going to St James’ Park and winning.
“There is a lot of goodwill towards Benitez from the Newcastle fans, but he has got start getting some points.
“At the moment, there is still an awful lot of noise coming from supporters about Mike Ashley and how he needs to spend more money on players, but they should park that until the transfer window opens in January.
“Prediction is Newcastle 0 Leicester 2.”