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Mark Lawrenson sees danger for Newcastle United but a likely happy ending

1 week ago
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Mark Lawrenson predicted defeat for Newcastle against Arsenal but said that Rafa Benitez had to be forgotten about and that Steve Bruce was a ‘good manager’ who everybody had to get behind, as well as supporting the new signings.

Predicting a 2-0 win for Arsenal, Mark Lawrenson said:

‘As much as I know Newcastle fans loved Rafa Benitez…I think new Magpies boss Steve Bruce is a good manager and he has done some good jobs in the Premier League. The supporters need to get behind him and their new signings.’

Despite a decent first half showing, Steve Bruce and Newcastle ended the day pointless.

Now the focus turns to Saturday and Norwich, going from a match on Sunday where any point(s) would have been a bonus, to one which certainly, even at this early stage, Newcastle certainly can’t afford to lose. With Spurs and Liverpool away sandwiching Watford at home, the pressure to get a result at Carrow Road is intense.

Unlike Aston Villa, Norwich have made minimal investment in their squad this summer, largely reliant still on the team/squad that got them promoted as champions.

Against Liverpool on Friday, all 11 who started the game were part of the promotion team/squad last season.

Mark Lawrenson declaring after that 4-1 defeat: ‘Daniel Farke’s side are dangerous, but I do worry about them – they scored lots of goals in the Championship last season, but they conceded a load too. If they are going to be as open as they were at Anfield when they play at home as well, then they are going to get some beatings.’

Norwich scored more goals (93) than any other second tier club and only Man City (95) in the Premier League scored more (although eight more matches in the Championship as well).

However, seven other Championship clubs conceded less goals than the 57 Norwich did.

With no real quality additions to the defence, it looks certain Norwich will continue to concede, especially as they look sure to keep going with their attacking style, as evidenced at Anfield when they deserved more than the single goal.

Mark Lawrenson is probably correct for once when he predicts more beatings against better teams for the Canaries BUT if they can get enough points to stay up in the other game, thanks to the goals they can score, nobody at Norwich will be bothered.

A difficult one to predict as just like Mark Lawrenson, I can’t see either side not scoring. He goes for a 2-1 win to relieve the pressure on Steve Bruce but I simply think that three goals in the game could be a conservative estimate overall, Newcastle will never have a better chance when counter-attacking with Almiron, ASM and Joelinton – can NUFC outscore Norwich?

It is over 25 years since Newcastle won at Carrow Road, seven games in that time and two goalless draws amongst the last four visits, little chance of that becoming three in the last five.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Norwich have to be applauded for the fact they created chances against Liverpool in their defeat at Anfield on Friday.

“The only problem is that if you look at the goals the Canaries conceded, their defending was more like League One standard. That is a major worry.

“Newcastle also played one of the leading clubs, and lost at home to Arsenal.

“The Magpies could maybe have done a bit more going forward but, although I think Steve Bruce is going to take a bit of time to work out what his best team is, I don’t think they are going to struggle.

“Bruce’s side will have to deal with a lively atmosphere at Carrow Road in Norwich’s first home game back in the top flight, and the Canaries will be at full throttle.

“Daniel Farke’s side are dangerous, but I do worry about them – they scored lots of goals in the Championship last season, but they conceded a load too.

“If they are going to be as open as they were at Anfield when they play at home as well, then they are going to get some beatings.

“Prediction is Norwich 1 Newcastle 2.”

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