BBC pundit shares concern about Newcastle's transfer hopes, predicts Brighton result

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson looks on as prepares for the start of the npower Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United at Loftus Road on May 7, 2011 in London, England.

Newcastle United host Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League this afternoon.

A general view of St James' Park during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur at St James' Park on May 15, 2016 in Newcastle, England.

Pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he thinks Newcastle United will draw 1-1 at home with Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League this afternoon.

The Magpies head into the game having lost 1-0 at home to Manchester City on Wednesday night, with Raheem Sterling's goal condemning them to defeat at St. James' Park.

It's another home game for manager Rafael Benitez though, and he will be hoping for a similar performance to the 3-2 away win at West Ham United last weekend.

With just one win in the last 11 Premier League games, Newcastle are now struggling, and face a key home game this afternoon against fellow promoted club Brighton and Hove Albion.

Players and officials shake hands prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2017 in London, England.

The Seagulls lost 2-0 at Chelsea in midweek, but having beaten Watford 1-0 last weekend, Chris Hughton's men lie four points clear of the relegation zone.

Brighton have won just one of the last eight games, scoring only four goals in that spell, and need the points just as much as Newcastle as the two teams attempt to stay in the Premier League.

Ahead of the game, pundit Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that he doesn't have concern that Brighton will be relegated, but can't say the same for Newcastle.

Lawrenson is concerned about Newcastle's planning for the January transfer window, and believes that the two teams will draw 1-1 on Tyneside this afternoon.

Chris Hughton, Manager of Brighton and Hove Albion and Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United greet each other prior to the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and...Chris Hughton and Rafael Benitez

“Newcastle were very defensive against Manchester City on Wednesday night, even when they went 1-0 down, but Rafael Benitez's aim was for his team to try to stay in the game until the end - and it almost worked because they nearly nicked a point,” said Lawrenson. “There will be a very different feeling about this game, against another promoted club - the Magpies have to try to win this one.”

“Brighton lost at Chelsea on Boxing Day but they had taken four points from their previous two matches, and this will be another fixture that their boss Chris Hughton will have earmarked as one to get something out of. The Seagulls are only three points above Newcastle in the table but I just don't see Hughton's side getting relegated - I never really have.”

“It is different with Newcastle, and I am little bit worried for them. The takeover of the club is turning into a long-running saga and they need to bring in new players in January. They have Benitez as manager, which is a huge positive, but who is he talking to about potential signings? Is it the current regime or the new people? It is a very difficult situation for them,” he added.

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson looks on as prepares for the start of the npower Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United at Loftus Road on May 7, 2011 in London, England.

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