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Mark Lawrenson verdict on relegation battle and Tuesday night at St James Park

5 months ago
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Mark Lawrenson has been giving his ‘expert’ view on both the fight to stay in the Premier League and the more pressing matter of Newcastle v Everton.

A massive carrot for Newcastle United is that if they win this game, they could move out of the relegation zone and would be only one point behind Everton.

Despite this, Mark Lawrenson has confidently declared, ‘I don’t think Everton are in trouble.’

The BBC Sport pundit gets his confidence from a belief that with the ‘quality’ and ‘good players’ in the Everton squad, they ‘could quickly shoot up the table’ under new boss Frank Lampard.

Maybe they will do so…but when you see they have a record of only one win in their last 14 Premier League games, 10 defeats in that run, picking up only six points from a possible last forty two, I doubt even many Everton supporters are thinking there is nothing at all to worry about.

Mark Lawrenson is convinced that Newcastle United, Burnley, Norwich and Watford will produce the three relegated clubs and only one surviving, Lawrenson seeing no chance of any of the four ending the season above Everton. We’ll see.

Lawrenson thinks that with Newcastle United. ‘Overall they did pretty good business in the transfer window, but it might take a bit of time for this Newcastle team to bed in.’ Interesting that he doesn’t see this as a similar problem for Everton who have been busy as well, bringing in the likes of Dele Alli, Anwar El Ghazi and Donny van de Beek.

Something totally ignored by Mark Lawrenson when talking about the January signings, is the fact that whilst all five Newcastle new boys have played regular football this season so far, it is very different for Everton’s high profile new trio.

Dele Alli has only started two Premier League matches since September, whilst Donny van de Beek has only started four league games in the past 23 months, the last one of of those was nine months ago. As for Anwar El Ghazi, only one PL start since August.

As any number of ‘experts’ have pointed out, Newcastle United need their new signings to hit the ground running. Trippier and Wood have of course already started Newcastle’s Premier League matches in January, whilst the other trio are coming into the NUFC squad match fit after playing week in week out.

Here’s hoping this can be a positive factor that works in Newcastle’s favour, starting on Tuesday night.

Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport – 7 February 2022:

“I don’t think Everton are in trouble.

“They have got enough quality in their squad and, if their good players get going under Lampard, they could quickly shoot up the table.”

“For me, it is still three from the bottom four [Newcastle United, Burnley, Norwich and Watford]  who are going down – but I don’t see any of them finishing above Everton.

“Everton got a good win over Brentford at the weekend in Frank Lampard’s first game in charge, and he could give debuts to deadline-day signings Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli at St James’ Park.

“Lampard really needs striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin to be fit for this one, though. He makes such a difference for them, especially away from home.

“Newcastle have got some new faces too, of course, and it will be interesting to see how they line up in their first game for more than a fortnight.

“Overall they did pretty good business in the transfer window, but it might take a bit of time for this Newcastle team to bed in. They need the three points more than Everton do, but I don’t think they will get them.

“Prediction is Newcastle 1 Everton 1.”

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