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Mark Lawrenson claims “Rafa Benitez just does not do that kind of thing”

5 months ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been previewing Newcastle v Liverpool.

The game on Saturday night now looking like a win is needed for the visitors to keep their season alive.

As for Newcastle United, they have already ‘won’ Premier League safety.

Despite that, Mark Lawrenson declares: ‘I know some people are saying he could lie down against Liverpool but Rafa Benitez just does not do that kind of thing,’

With so much riding on the game, anybody who thinks anyone at Newcastle United will be looking to do Liverpool any favours is very much mistaken.

By normal club standards, outsiders would see nothing much to play for, but this potentially being Rafa’s last game in charge for Newcastle at St James Park, to have beaten both Man City and Liverpool in a season when they have been so dominant, would leave absolutely nobody in any doubt, of Mike Ashley’s folly if he doesn’t do anything of substance to try and convince Rafa Benitez that there is any point in staying.

After predicting Liverpool not to lose in everyone of the first 36 Premier League games…Mark Lawrenson was hardly going to be changing tack at this stage.

He goes for a 2-0 win for the scousers and this week is reminding us like no other of the dominance of ex-Liverpool players in the media.

This week the BBC Sport guest doing predictions is golfer Tommy Fleetwood. He is an Everton fan and has gone for (and wants!) Newcastle to win 1-0.

If Rafa makes it seven wins from the last eight home matches that would be some end to this season for games at St James Park and potentially a final sign off from the fans on Tyneside, with only next Sunday’s game at Fulham to come.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“I know some people are saying he could lie down against Liverpool but Rafa Benitez just does not do that kind of thing,

“He is the kind of fella who will think ‘I am going to show them what they are missing.’

“That will be his outlook, definitely.

“We already know what Newcastle are like and how difficult they make it when they face the top sides.

“When people talk about teams being organised, Newcastle are on that list and that is because they are a well-coached team and Benitez is an extremely good coach.

“It is as if every player on all of his teams has always known exactly what their role is, and what is expected of them.

“So this will be a tough game for Liverpool, because they will have to break Newcastle down.

“It might actually help that they lost 3-0 to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final because it means they won’t have one eye on Tuesday’s second leg any more.

“It is not as if they got a 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp and will be thinking ‘we’ve got a fantastic chance’.

“They will know they are outsiders in that tie now and they have to focus fully on the Premier League, where any slip by Manchester City will let them in.

“Prediction is Newcastle 0 Liverpool 2”

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