Mark Lawrenson predicts Manchester United v Newcastle United

Steve McClaren

Mark Lawrenson believes Manchester United will beat Newcastle United 2-1 today.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he believes Manchester United will beat Newcastle United 2-1 this afternoon.

Manchester United have made a solid if unspectacular start to the campaign, winning both of their Premier League games 1-0 so far, seeing off Tottenham and Aston Villa in narrow victories.

Louis van Gaal's side also beat Club Brugge 3-1 in midweek in a crucial Champions League qualifier, but it's back to league action for the Red Devils this weekend.

Newcastle United travel to Old Trafford this afternoon to take on United, and they are still searching for their first league win under new manager Steve McClaren, having drawn one and lost one from their two opening games.

It promises to be a tough task for Newcastle to get a result from Old Trafford, especially if they replicate the torrid display from their 2-0 loss at Swansea last weekend.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he believes Manchester United will win the game 2-1 - and highlighted the defences as the biggest difference between the two sides, hence his prediction of a United victory.

"Manchester United have now played three and won three this season but the way Club Brugge set up in their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday definitely helped them," said Lawrenson. "The Belgian side gambled going forward and that suited Louis van Gaal's side because it gave them space when they attacked and Manchester United won 3-1."

"As good a start as they have made, I still think they are short of what they need to be serious contenders in the Premier League and Europe at the moment. Both of these teams are a work in progress but the difference is that, defensively, Newcastle do not look convincing at the moment. I can see Manchester United's good start continuing," he added.

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