Mark Lawrenson explains his confident prediction for Stoke City v Newcastle United

Mark Lawrenson is backing Stoke City to beat Newcastle United 2-0 this evening.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Stoke City will beat Newcastle United 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium this evening.

Stoke head into the game having beaten Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday afternoon, with Austrian international forward Marko Arnautovic scoring twice in a fine victory for Mark Hughes' men.

The Potters lie just four points off a European place, and a win over Newcastle this evening would boost their chances of a Europa League place.

Newcastle travel to the Britannia Stadium in desperate need of points, and should be well refreshed having not even played a game since behind thrashed 5-1 by Chelsea on the 13th of February.

Steve McClaren's side sit second bottom of the table, but can move out of the bottom three if they avoid defeat this evening, but they face a tough task against Mark Hughes' men.

The reverse fixture finished in a 0-0 draw at St. James' Park back in October, with Jack Butland pulling off a number of incredible saves, and Newcastle will have to find a way past him this time to pick up a vital three points.

Now, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he can't see any way that Newcastle pick up points this evening, and is tipping Stoke to comfortably win the game 2-0.

"Stoke are going well - previously they struggled a bit for goals but on a good day they have now got more than one match-winner, which makes a big difference," said Lawrenson. "Newcastle, who remain in the relegation zone, have not had a game for 18 days and have been at a training camp in Spain. This is not the game they need right now and I just do not fancy their chances at the Britannia Stadium," he added.

What's your prediction for Stoke v Newcastle?

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