Mark Lawrenson predicts Sunderland v Newcastle

Sunderland Stadium of Light

Mark Lawrenson believes Sunderland and Newcastle will draw 1-1 this afternoon.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Sunderland and Newcastle will draw 1-1 at the Stadium of Light this afternoon.

Sunderland are still searching for their first win this season, and new manager Sam Allardyce will certainly be looking for revenge of his former club in the Tyne-Wear derby today.

After a 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion in his first game as Sunderland boss last weekend, Allardyce needs a big result to kickstart his season, with the Black Cats bottom of the table.

Rivals Newcastle haven't had much more luck this season, with Steve McClaren's men struggling for most of the campaign before last week's 6-2 victory over Norwich City.

Four goals from Georginio Wijnaldum showed just how potent Newcastle can be on their day, but there were still some concerns over their defensive abilities, with Norwich causing problems throughout the game, with Newcastle without first choice goalkeeper Tim Krul for the rest of the season.

It promises to be a tight game between two struggling teams, and despite Sunderland's record of five wins in a row against Newcastle, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he believes this one will be slightly different, having predicted a 1-1 draw.

"This is the fixture that Sunderland keep winning - they have won the last five - but they keep losing their manager a few months later," said Lawrenson. "I think it will be a different outcome this time, though."

"Newcastle looked good going forward when I watched them beat Norwich 6-2 but that result was far better than their performance - defensively I do not fancy them. I don't think new Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce will look to open them up too often, though. He will be looking to keep things tight and I think Newcastle will tighten up too - they really have to," he added.

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