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Mark Lawrenson gives Steve Bruce good and not so good news

4 weeks ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been looking at the relegation issues.

Sheffield United and West Brom have already booked their places, just waiting for it to be mathematically certain.

As for the third spot for the drop, it looks to be between three Premier League clubs.

Newcastle United, Fulham and Lawrenson’s old club, Brighton.

As you can see from this Premier League table on Thursday night ahead of the weekend matches it is tight for that third bottom spot:

Mark Lawrenson predicts that Brighton will be the club celebrating as we head into the international break.

The BBC pundit believing that the Seagulls will end the weekend on 32 points, four clear of Newcastle in seventeenth and six points clear of Brighton in eighteenth.

Even though Leeds have lost four of their last six games, drawing one and winning only one, plus failing to score in their last three games, Mark Lawrenson confidently predicts Bielsa’s team to win comfortable 2-0 at Craven Cottage. Rather bizarrely, he believes this will happen because Leeds haven’t scored for three matches and so are due to score…and ‘despite Scott Parker’s side being in much better form.’

As for Newcastle United, Mark Lawrenson says that almost certainly, Steve Bruce will have ‘Newcastle sitting in as they always seem to do’ and end up losing to his (Lawrenson’s) old club Brighton.

This is a massive weekend for the relegation fight and whatever happens, you can’t help but feel that it may well set the tone for what the eventual outcome will be on 23 May and one of the three (almost certainly) will go down.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Brighton will come into this game with a bit of confidence after beating Southampton last week.

“Scoring has been a problem for the Seagulls, but they got two goals against Saints – the first time they’d managed that in the Premier League since 2 January – which was another positive, as well as ending a three-game losing streak.

“I think this will be another tight game, with Newcastle sitting in as they always seem to do.

“It’s hard to see the Magpies’ approach changing while their key attacking players are injured – Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron are out until April – and I don’t see their results improving until they return.

“Prediction is Brighton 2 Newcastle 1.”

Mark Lawrenson previewing Fulham v Leeds on Friday night:

“Leeds haven’t won – or scored – for a little while now, three games to be exact, which is very unlike them.

“That’s why I worry for Fulham a bit here, despite Scott Parker’s side being in much better form.

“When these two sides met at Elland Road back in September, we were finding out what Leeds were like in the top flight – they won 4-3, after losing to Liverpool by the same scoreline the previous weekend.

“Fulham were like a different side then, and leaked a lot of goals. They have tightened up a lot since then, but I am expecting Leeds to start firing again here.

Prediction is Fulham 0 Leeds 2.”

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