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Mark Lawrenson now predicts downturn for Newcastle United

10 months ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been talking ahead of this afternoon’s match at Turf Moor.

Two spaces and four points currently separating Newcastle United and Burnley.

This is only the fourth time this fixture has been played in Burnley in the space of 36 years.

Newcastle picking up a win, a draw and a defeat in that time, all three games coming in the last five years.

Sean Dyche has done a remarkable job at Burnley, as has Eddie Howe at Bournemouth.

The two managers have taken their teams into the Premier League and kept them there, even though they are the division’s two smallest clubs with the smallest fanbases.

They are also the Premier League’s longest serving managers, both Dyche and Howe appointed over seven years ago, Howe 18 days before Dyche. Jurgen Klopp is the next longest serving and he has only been at Liverpool four years. Indeed, in the entire four divisions only Gareth Ainsworth at Wycombe has been in post longer than the Bournemouth and Burnley bosses.

However, the pair are coming under some rare pressure.

Eddie Howe has lost all of his last five games which started with throwing away a 1-0 lead and dominating at St James Park, whilst Sean Dyche has lost six of his last eight Premier League games.

Despite four wins and a draw for Newcastle, Mark Lawrenson forecasts a comfortable final two goal winning scoreline for Burnley today.

He predicts a ‘reaction’ from Burnley against Newcastle and rather bizarrely, despite losing six of the last eight matches, the other two games have been thumping 3-0 victories over relegation rivals Watford and West Ham.

Up against another relegation rival today, much could depend on the ‘reaction’ Steve Bruce gets from players who have rarely started recently.

With the likes of Shelvey, Almiron, Saint-Maximin, Ritchie, Ki, Clark and Lascelles all set to miss.

Will players such as Schar, Sean Longstaff and Atsu be able to help keep the results positive?

Newcastle have picked up points despite playing ultra-negative football and creating minimal chances.

The feeling is that NUFC need to get on the attack more and start creating chances, if they are to stand any chance of keeping the team looking up and not down at the table.

Interesting to see Steve Bruce’s team selection today and more importantly maybe, how they are set up on the pitch.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Burnley have lost their past three games, conceding 11 goals in the process.

“Which is not what you expect from them under Sean Dyche.

“I bet training has not been much fun for them this week.

“I think we will see a reaction from them here and, at the very least, they are going to be competitive against Newcastle.

The Magpies have been excellent of late, though.

“They are a such a hard-working team and it does not matter one bit that they are not always easy on the eye.

“This is going to be a terrific battle but I would back Burnley.

“Prediction is Burnley 2 Newcastle 0.”

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