BBC pundit predicts Norwich v Newcastle result, highlights impact of Elliot's injury

Norwich Carrow Road 2

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

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Norwich City will beat Newcastle United 2-1 at Carrow Road this afternoon.

After a fortnight without Premier League action, the international break is over, and the battle against relegation to the Championship continues this weekend.

Two of the teams in that battle are Norwich City and Newcastle United, and they meet today at Carrow Road in one of the biggest games of their respective seasons.

Norwich head into the game having beaten West Bromwich Albion 1-0 last time out, and they now sit two points clear of the relegation zone having been given some hope with their victory at The Hawthorns a fortnight ago.

Today, Alex Neil's side take on 19th placed Newcastle United, who lie three points adrift of the Canaries having drawn 1-1 with Sunderland last time out.

Newcastle have been dealt a major blow this week, with goalkeeper Rob Elliot suffering a major injury whilst playing for the Republic of Ireland, ruling him out for the rest of the season - and Karl Darlow, who hasn't impressed when he has played, is set to deputise.

Now, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Elliot's injury could have a huge impact of Newcastle's season, and is backing Norwich to claim a 2-1 win as they continue their fight against relegation.

"I was at the Republic of Ireland's friendly draw with Slovakia where Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliott was injured, and I am still not sure who will replace him for the Magpies on Saturday," said Lawrenson. "Newcastle's defence is the biggest reason they are in the bottom three so, whoever does come in to play in goal, where is he going to get any confidence from? Good luck with that one."

"Norwich's win at West Brom before the international break was massive, and just what they needed to set them up for the games they have coming up against the teams around them. After playing Newcastle, the Canaries are away at Crystal Palace (9 April) then home to Sunderland (16 April). At the very least, their aim will be to come through those three games unbeaten but, on Saturday, I fancy them to do better than that." he added.

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