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Mark Lawrenson predicts Newcastle v Crystal Palace

6 months ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been looking ahead to Saturday’s match at St James Park.

The BBC Sport pundit thinking that Newcastle ‘played OK’ on Monday night.

A bit generous for once as I don’t think many Newcastle fans would agree with that conclusion.

I can’t really disagree though when Mark Lawrenson says that it was like Rafa Benitez was simply ‘trying to keep the score down’ against Arsenal.

The Newcastle boss kind of keeping his team in the game until the final seven minutes but without ever really threatening once Ramsey put the Gunners ahead early on.

Mark Lawrenson predicts a 2-1 win for Newcastle and says that with how things now stand, it would be a ‘massive shock’ if either Palace or NUFC went down.

If Newcastle win they would be 10 points and a far superior goal difference ahead of Cardiff, with the Welsh side having only six to play. The Magpies effectively safe.

I suppose one thing we have to ‘thank’ Mike Ashley for, is that end of season run-ins have rarely been boring….

2008/09 Relegated

2009/10 Promoted

2010/11 A rare comfortable season as Chris Hughton put the foundations in place before being sacked, NUFC ending 12th with Pardew having been brought in.

2011/12 The one-off season, Newcastle ending up fifth and almost ending up in the Champions League

2012/13 Reached safety only when winning final away match of season at QPR

2013/14 Newcastle competing towards the top until Cabaye sold in January 2014 and not replaced, season drifted to a boring/respectable 10th but could/should have been so much more.

2014/15 Survived on final day, a win at home to West Ham making sure.

2015/16 Relegated

2016/17 Promoted

2017/18 A run of form from February to April took Newcastle to safety with a month to go.

I make that, including last season, only three in the last ten seasons where Newcastle had a boring/respectable Premier League end to the season. Even those included an unjustified sacking (Hughton), selling the best player (Cabaye) mid-season and no replacing him, then finally Ashley completely failing to back his manager and Rafa rustling up survival on a relative shoestring and restricted to only loan signings in the January to turn it around.

Hopefully this will make it four in eleven and the Rafa Benitez position will be quickly sorted, then we can all move forward with some belief of better times ahead.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Newcastle played OK in Monday’s defeat by Arsenal – looking fairly secure, but not exactly posing much of a threat.

“It almost felt like they were trying to keep the score down, which isn’t unusual for manager Rafael Benitez.

“I would expect the Magpies to be a bit more adventurous on Saturday, and I can see then edging this one.

“But both of these teams are safe anyway.

“It would be a massive shock if either of them went down.

“Prediction is Newcastle 2 Crystal Palace 1.”

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