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Mark Lawrenson “I think if you offered that to Magpies boss Rafa Benitez now, he would snap your hand off”

2 years ago

Mark Lawrenson believes Newcastle should be expecting to pick up a decent number of points in the next month.

The highest placed club they play before Christmas is Everton who are ninth, whilst the last two games of this six match run are the current bottom two clubs, Huddersfield and Fulham.

Of course this is only delaying the inevitable, having to then play six of the top eight in a seven match sequence beginning with Liverpool away on Boxing Day.

So a bit like a squirrel collecting and storing the nuts before hibernating, it looks like Newcastle United had better collect plenty of nuts before Santa visits.

Mark Lawrenson thinks this will be a 1-1 draw and that Rafa Benitez would ‘snap your hand off’ if offered that now.

Maybe he’s right, but once again it has to be remembered the level of opposition once we reach the festive period.

At least with Newcastle being (just) outside the relegation zone we aren’t desperate for a victory to take us out of the bottom three, so at least a little bit of pressure lifted.

Lawrenson praises Burnley for once again finding some form when getting a goalless draw at Leicester but they led a charmed life, Leicester had 22 shots to Burnley’s 6 and Sean Dyche’s team had only one effort on target, whilst the Foxes dominated corners by a score of 12 to 1.

Newcastle have already picked up a point in goalless draws at Palace, Cardiff and Southampton, suggesting not much wrong with their resilience, but the big positive was that the Bournemouth match saw more of a threat created by Newcastle at the other end.

Like so many matches and you can probably say it for most or all of these next six games, the margins will be very tight, with any of the three results possible in each game.

A draw away is traditionally always seen as a positive, unless you are one of those at the top, but imperative of course that Newcastle build on the last two matches and make St James Park a place where they pick up plenty of points.

Maybe not one for the purists on Monday night but if Newcastle can score early once again, maybe they can once more relax a little and play better football, as was the case against Bournemouth.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Newcastle built up a bit of momentum with their results before the international break and now they have got a run of games where they will expect to pick up more points.

Newcastle’s next six Premier League games are:

“Burnley Away – 26 November

“West Ham home – 1 December

“Everton Away – 5 December

“Wolves Home – 9 December

“Huddersfield Away – 15 December

“Fulham Home – 22 December

“I don’t see them winning on Monday night, though.

“Burnley got a good point last time out at Leicester thanks to a determined defensive display and I think we will see more of the same here.

“A draw at Turf Moor is still a decent result though – and I think if you offered that to Magpies boss Rafa Benitez now, he would snap your hand off.

“Prediction is Burnley 1 Newcastle 1.”


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