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Mark Lawrenson research failure shown up yet again with Newcastle United prediction

4 weeks ago
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It is interesting to see just how often Mark Lawrenson gets things wrong.

I’m talking specifically about his previews and predictions for Newcastle United matches, just how little research and attention to detail there is.

I can’t speak for other clubs / matches, as I’m (unfortunately!) only focused on NUFC, but I guess supporters of those teams will say the same about Mark Lawrenson.

Ahead of Saturday at St James Park, the Mark Lawrenson predictions for the weekend went out late on Thursday night.

Predicting a comfortable 2-0 win for Steve Bruce and Newcastle, Mark Lawrenson declaring: ‘This is probably a good time to play Southampton, who are short of available players…’

Lawrenson does mention Jan Bednarek is now available after his red card was overturned.

However, he hasn’t bothered having a look at what Ralph Hasenthuttl said yesterday afternoon, the Southampton boss revealing that he expects now another four extra players to be available for this Newcastle match, as well as Bednarek. The other first choice centre-back, Jannik Vestergaard is now set to return from injury.

The Southampton boss also reports that Oriol Romeu and Kyle Walker-Peters are likely to be available. Whilst a fifth piece of good news for him is that Takumi Minamino is also set to be available to make his first start on loan from Liverpool.

The bottom line is that Southampton are now set to have pretty much their first choice team available, with Stuart Armstrong the only new injury worry for Hasenhuttl.

In these last eight weeks, Newcastle have only won one of thirteen games, losing ten of them, and even on that one win Mark Lawrenson embarrassed himself, making a cheap joke at his mate Steve Bruce’s expense, Lawrenson said before the Everton match: ‘Newcastle will win a game eventually, of course. Just not this one.’

With his 2-0 home win prediction Mark Lawrenson thinks this is ‘one’ for Steve Bruce, here’s hoping he is proved right for once.

However, little doubt Southampton will be looking at this game as ideal to bounce back, having lost to form teams Leicester, Arsenal, Villa and Man Utd. The game before this four match losing spell saw Southampton beat Liverpool and that was the fifteenth match in a run of Premier League games where they had only lost two of the 15. That run included a very easy 2-0 win over Newcastle United.

Predicting a clean sheet for Newcastle is a dangerous game considering only three clubs have conceded more, even Southampton despite their 9-0 loss at Old Trafford have conceded fewer goals.

Steve Bruce only four PL clean sheets all season, whilst at the other end only the bottom four have scored less than Newcastle’s 22 goals in 22 games.

Only in seven of Newcastle’s 22 Premier League matches have Steve Bruce’s team managed to score two or more goals, those seven games include all six of NUFC’s wins, plus the 5-2 defeat at Leeds.

Conversely, on eleven occasions when Newcastle have conceded two goals or more, they have lost every single one. Worryingly, the defending is getting ever worse, with four of the last five PL matches seeing the opposition score two or more and win.

Steve Bruce has gone way over the top with saying how encouraging recent matches have been, the reality is that Newcastle continue to concede more and more goals, whilst they are still failing to score enough at the other end. Is Bruce capable of correcting this problem at both ends of the pitch?

Well, if he doesn’t do something better tomorrow against Southampton, Steve Bruce will almost certainly be looking at a run of only one win in sixteen games, as it is Chelsea and Man Utd away next.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“This is probably a good time to play Southampton, who are short of available players even though the red card Jan Bednarek received near the end of Tuesday’s 9-0 defeat at Old Trafford was overturned.

“I was there for BBC Radio 5 live and, although Saints didn’t capitulate until the last few minutes, it was a horrible night for them which will have taken a lot out of their players too, because they worked extremely hard.

“Newcastle lost at home to Crystal Palace in midweek but they were pretty lively, and kept up the more ambitious approach that saw them win at Everton last weekend.

“More of the same should see the Magpies get some reward here, after taking only two points from their previous five home league games.

“Prediction is Newcastle 2 Southampton 0.”

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