Mark Lawrenson predicts Newcastle United v Everton, claims Martinez's men are underachieving

St James Park Two

Mark Lawrenson believes Everton will beat Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks that Everton will beat Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Boxing Day.

Newcastle head in to the game in a nice run of form, having beaten Liverpool and Tottenham before a draw against Aston Villa last weekend.

It's been something of a mini-recovery for Newcastle, but Steve McClaren's men still lie just two points clear of the relegation zone even after this upturn in results.

The Magpies must keep this run going though, and after a frustrating draw with Villa, fans will be hoping to see Newcastle kick off the Christmas period with a positive result against Everton.

Roberto Martinez's side lost 3-2 at home to Leicester City last weekend, but had gone six games unbeaten before that, with two wins and four draws.

The Toffees have drawn too often this term, but with in-form striker Romelu Lukaku hoping to score in a ninth consecutive game, they will be confident of securing a result on Tyneside this weekend.

Now, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Everton will win the game 2-1 - but claims the Toffees are underachieving under Roberto Martinez right now.

"I expected Newcastle to roll Aston Villa over and make it three wins on the run," said Lawrenson. "But Villa came back to earn a point, highlighting that Newcastle are mentally fragile and sometimes physically fragile too. But the 1-1 draw means it is three games without defeat which is important for their confidence."

"Everton, for the ability they have got, are underachieving. They have some real quality in that side, look really good on the ball and have got it right going forward. But individually and collectively they need to improve defensively," he added.

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