Paul Merson has been looking ahead to Newcastle United’s game against Leicester City.
Newcastle lie 18th in the table and with Man Utd away following Leicester, Newcastle are desperate for points before going into that international break which follows the trip to Old Trafford.
Last week Paul Merson predicted Newcastle would lose at Selhurst Park and he says now it was a good result to get a draw.
Rafa’s team did ok for the first half hour or so though without creating a lot of chances, Ayoze Perez failing with the best one, but even with that one he was outside the 18 yard box.
The last hour of the match saw Palace increasingly dominant and only resilient defending aided by Sakho missing an open goal, earned a point.
Two draws at Cardiff and Palace are ok results but as well as not scoring in the two games, it is a major worry that Newcastle struggled to really create many/any clear chances.
Leicester on the other hand don’t have any troubles on that front, scoring in each of their last eight Premier League matches, 18 goals in total in those games. Only the top six scored more goals than the Foxes last season.
Earlier this week Paul Merson had a laugh at Newcastle’s expense, criticising the decision to sell Mitrovic but at the same time admitting Fulham’s style is a lot to do with the fact Mitro has scored five PL goals already. He has done so though with the help of having the most chances created (23) by is Fulham teammates, more than any other PL attacker.
Paul Merson speaking on Sky Sports (The Debate) earlier this week:
“Don’t chop your nose off to spite your face.
“Aleksandar Mitrovic is coming back to haunt Newcastle at the moment.
“Fulham have a go wherever they go, they have a right go, so you’re getting three or four chances a game, you’re not living on scraps.
“At Newcastle, if you get one clear-cut chance, you have had a result!”
As you can see, Merson says that with this current Rafa team you are lucky to get one decent chance per game.
As it happens, Newcastle have scored against Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea and Man City, all four were actually very good goals.
Paul Merson says Newcastle have ‘got to win’ and predicts that Rafa’s team will do so, forecasting a 1-0 home victory.
Keeping out Vardy and co would be an achievement and whilst Leicester are very good in attack, their defending leaves something to be desired. Since the start of last season (2017/18) they have conceded 70 Premier League goals in the 42 matches, compared to Newcastle leaking 54 in the same period.
This season, only seven clubs have conceded less than Newcastle’s eight goals, which considering who Newcastle have played, is pretty impressive.
However, you still need goals to win matches and this is the biggest challenge ahead of Saturday, can anybody step up to the plate?
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“Newcastle have got to win.
“They had a good result going to Crystal Palace and drawing 0-0 but Leicester are like a bag of Revels, you never know what you’re going to get.
“One week, they’re well beaten at Bournemouth then the next, they win at home.
“I’m going to go for a Newcastle home win.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Leicester 0.”