Mark Lawrenson says Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United are now in a relegation fight
Mark Lawrenson has been looking at Saturday’s game at St James Park.
Newcastle United facing a resurgent Burnley who have picked up 13 points from their last five matches.
In contrast, Mark Lawrenson says Newcastle United have been ‘pretty poor and they are finding goals hard to come by.’
As Newcastle fans we know that things have been poor all season, only luck and Martin Dubravka preventing defeat in numerous matches.
That luck was never going to last forever and one win in the last nine and only seven goals in the last eleven is no surprise.
Mark Lawrenson declares: ‘Newcastle have been sucked back into the relegation fight after going four games without a win.’
However, looking at the last nine match form table tells us everything:
Newcastle with the second worst form these past two months but so many other teams at the bottom also picking up so few points.
It is only that which has preserved a seven point gap to the bottom three but other clubs are sure to start and pick up points, so can Newcastle do the same?
Well Steve Bruce has talked about playing a back four against Burnley and supposedly going on the attack. Well whatever formation he has played this season, we are yet to see that happen.
Tomorrow is a very tough game, not only are the visitors in great form, Burnley’s season has been overwhelmingly built on punishing the strugglers such as Newcastle United, those in the bottom half of the table.
In 14 games this season against bottom half teams, Burnley have now won nine, drawn two and lost only three. Those nine wins including the 1-0 victory at Turf Moor over Newcastle. Picking up 29 points from a possible 42 against the weaker teams.
Mark Lawrenson predicts a 1-1 draw and I think Newcastle will have to find at least one goal from somewhere if they are to get anything from this game, which would be an achievement in itself as it is over four and a half hours of PL football since Newcastle scored a goal.
In contrast, Burnley have scored nine in their last five PL games and three of their strikers have scored two goals each in those games.
Strikers scoring goals? That will never catch on!
Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:
“Newcastle have been sucked back into the relegation fight after going four games without a win.
“Their recent performances have been pretty poor and they are finding goals hard to come by.
“Burnley’s form is the polar opposite and has put them in the picture for European qualification.
“I am not expecting a thriller.
“This will be a tight battle much like it was when they met at Turf Moor in December and the Clarets edged it.
“This time, I am going to go for a draw.
“That would not solve Newcastle’s problems but it would inch them a bit closer to safety.
“As for the Clarets and a possible return to Europe, I would question whether they would want to be back in the Europa League.
“It was fantastic for the club when they made it in 2018.
“But I think their fans would remember how it impacted on their league form and say: “Hold on, this messes our season up.
“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Burnley 1.”
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