Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has predicted in his BBC Sport column that Newcastle United will win Saturday’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa.
The 57-year-old believes that the game at St. James’ Park will end in a 2-1 victory for John Carver’s side.
“Villa are not down and out yet but, unlike some of the other teams at the bottom of the table, they do not have many scrappers in their team,” Lawrenson wrote on BBC Sport. “I think that's what they need now.
“Newcastle have their own problems - they were absolutely abject in their 5-0 defeat at Manchester City. There is no way they can be as bad this time, surely.”
Could Mark Lawrenson’s prediction come true?
Both Newcastle and Villa are struggling for form at the moment, and both will be looking to return to winning ways on Saturday.
The Magpies will head into the encounter on the back of a 5-0 defeat to defending English champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Meanwhile, Villa suffered a 2-1 loss to Stoke City at Villa Park last weekend in what was Tim Sherwood’s first game in charge of the Villans.
Newcastle will be favourites to win on Saturday, especially as they are at home and have the better players.
However, it will be far from easy for Carver’s team. Villa are struggling for survival in the Premier League, but they do have some good players who will be determined to step up under new boss Sherwood.
The key will be the first goal. If Newcastle score first, then Villa will struggle for even a point at St. James’ Park.