Mark Lawrenson comments on Tottenham's North London battle, predicts result v Newcastle

Mark Lawrenson thinks Spurs will beat Newcastle 2-1 on Sunday.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Tottenham Hotspur will beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St. James' Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Magpies enter the game having already been relegated, with Sunderland's 3-0 win over Everton on Wednesday sending them down to the Championship.

This game will therefore be their final game as a Premier League team for now, and it could even be Rafael Benitez's last game as Newcastle United manager.

Spaniard Benitez arrived as manager back in March, and whilst he led some encouraging performances, he couldn't keep the club in the Premier League, and he may now choose to leave rather than face Championship football next season.

There aren't many tougher games for the final of the season either, as Newcastle host Tottenham Hotspur, who recently saw their title challenge come up just short.

Spurs still need to pick up points on the final day though, as whilst they have secured Champions League football, they could be pipped to second place by their fierce North London rivals Arsenal.

Tottenham haven't finished above the Gunners since 1995, and a possible finish ahead of Arsene Wenger's men could represent a real power shift in North London.

Now, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that Spurs won't be lacking motivation to win as they bid to win the battle for North London, and thinks Mauricio Pochettino's side will beat Newcastle 2-1 - but urged the Magpies to do all they can to try and keep Benitez at the club next season.

"Newcastle should do everything they can to try to persuade Rafael Benitez to stay on as manager, to organise the club and get them back in the top flight, because he is very good at that," said Lawrenson. "Benitez has been touched by the support he has been given by the Magpies fans and I think he will get that again at St James' Park on Sunday to encourage him to stay despite their relegation."

"I can understand why Tottenham were not themselves in their defeat by Southampton last weekend, because it is hard to play with the same intensity when the title has gone. It makes a difference - just 5% at this level is massive - but I don't think they will be lacking in motivation on Sunday. A point makes sure they finish second, and above their north London rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995, which will mean a lot to the Spurs players as well as the fans," he added.

What's your prediction for Newcastle v Spurs?

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