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Mark Lawrenson can only see more pressure piling on his mate Steve Bruce

1 month ago
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Mark Lawrenson doesn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel for Steve Bruce.

Bruce’s mate can only see more pressure piling on the Newcastle United Head Coach.

Aston Villa will massively benefit from playing in front of a full house according to Mark Lawrenson, the first time the stadium has been allowed a capacity crowd in a year and a half.

Villa lost 3-2 at promoted Watford last weekend as new signings were fitted into the team, who were playing their first PL game since Jack Grealish’s departure. Having gone 3-0 down, Aston Villa began to click the longer the game went on and almost snatched a point. The fact they had 62% possession and 11 shots probably suggests they weren’t too bad on that opening day, though obviously needing to improve.

For Newcastle United, there were no excuses in the opening game about how new signings had fitted in…ASM and Wilson proved a threat up front BUT the team’s overall defending was a massive worry, as they conceded four at home against an average West Ham side. Joe Willock could be a ‘new’ signing introduced to the starting eleven tomorrow, with fans hoping he can help bring more mobility and goal threat to the midfield, though who Bruce would then drop is anybody’s guess.

Steve Bruce has returned with Newcastle twice to his old club where he was sacked from. Dean Smith came in and sorted out the mess caused by Bruce in that 2018/19 Championship season and got them promoted, then going on to easily beat Bruce’s NUFC twice at Villa Park. Both occasions a 2-0 scoreline and Mark Lawrenson predicts the same result and scoreline, which would leave Steve Bruce pointless at the bottom end of the table.

Villa Park was a happy hunting ground back in the day, Newcastle United’s first 13 Premier League visits saw six away wins, five draws and just two defeats. However, these last 11 Premier League visits have brought only two wins and the three draws, with six Villa wins.

A point for Newcastle United wouldn’t be a terrible result but only if they then go on to beat relegation rivals Southampton in eight days time. As there then follows an international break with an away game at Man Utd when it ends.

Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

“Both of these sides lost their opening games and I wonder if Newcastle will stick with the more attacking approach that saw them ship four goals at home to West Ham.

“Aston Villa did not do too much better, conceding three at Watford and leaving their comeback too late.

“But I am expecting more from them this time, especially at Villa Park.

“I am mentioning the crowd being back a lot in these early weeks of the season and I think they will make a huge difference to the home form of some sides, including Villa.

“The other thing with Villa’s fans is that they will be looking forward to seeing how their new-look side is shaping up.

“On that side of things, I think we will see Villa improving as their new faces bed in.

“Prediction is Aston Villa 2 Newcastle 0.”

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