Mark Lawrenson predicts Newcastle v Everton
Everton are already safe from any relegation fears in 10th place on 37 points, 12 clear of the bottom three, but Mark Lawrenson is worried about them and especially manager Marco Silva.
He thinks Everton’s 0-0 draw last weekend against Liverpool was ‘their most committed performance of the season; so far.
Local pride kept intact and the massive bonus for their fans, in that it meant Liverpool have now handed Man City the title initiative.
Mark Lawrenson declares though ‘I think what happens in this game is far more significant for Everton manager Marco Silva. After all their hard work last week, and the way they raised their game, if the Toffees went to St James’ Park and got run over, then I would be seriously worried.’
The bottom line is that despite being undermined by Mike Ashley when it comes to the transfer market, Rafa and his team would be only three points behind Everton if they win on Saturday.
Whilst Ashley insisted on a £20m+ profit on transfers last summer, Marco Silva was backed with £90m for new players, making it £340m spent on players these past three seasons. Despite that spending, the blue scousers are struggling to be anything more than average.
In the three years Rafa Benitez has been at Newcastle, Everton have had five different managers, including David Unsworth who spent five weeks as caretaker in 2017.
As it happens, Mark Lawrenson is predicting Marco Silva and his team don’t get ‘run over’ and predicts a 2-1 away win. Though his BBC Sport guests, chef Tom Kerridge and ‘The Beast’ – aka Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, both go for Newcastle to win.
There has been a dramatic change in fortunes in this fixture in recent times.
The first 18 times Newcastle hosted Everton in the Premier League, the scousers only won two. However, the last seven fixtures have included five away wins, as Newcastle have found inventive ways to lose to Everton, on four occasions by the odd goal.
If Newcastle can win on Saturday, it will be the first time in 16 years that they have win five Premier League home games in a row, I bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“Everton got the draw they wanted against Liverpool last week, and I thought they did really well.
“They did not look much like scoring but they dealt with Jurgen Klopp’s side really well.
“After their display at Anfield in December, where they lost to a 96th-minute goal, it was probably their most committed performance of the season.
“Newcastle lost at West Ham last week, but only really went for it in the second half when they were already 2-0 down, and looked a different team.
“I am not sure what the Magpies’ approach will be like this time but I think what happens in this game is far more significant for Everton manager Marco Silva.
“After all their hard work last week, and the way they raised their game, if the Toffees went to St James’ Park and got run over, then I would be seriously worried.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Everton 2.”
Also making predictions for BBC Sport this week are chef Tom Kerridge and ‘The Beast’ – aka Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa:
“This is quite tricky to call.
“Newcastle are playing well, and there is a resurgence, energy and positivity about their play.
“With Everton, it is always up in the air as to how well they will play, so I am going to go for a Newcastle win.
“Newcastle 2 Everton 1.”
“I am surprised that you and I are thinking the same, but I don’t see there being many goals in this game.
“Newcastle 1 Everton 0.”
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