BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson is backing Steve Bruce’s Newcastle to have a solid season – and believes we’ll take all three points at Norwich this weekend, predicting a 2-1 away win.
The former Match of the Day man accepts it may take Steve Bruce ‘a bit of time to work out what his best team is’, but feels the team will not struggle this season.
On the flip side, he has ‘major’ worries about Norwich, applauding their attacking philosophy but fearing for them defensively – saying they were ‘League One standard’ at the back in their 4-1 defeat to Liverpool last Friday.
Here’s his prediction for the game during his weekly piece for the BBC:
Norwich have to be applauded for the fact they created chances against Liverpool in their defeat at Anfield on Friday.
The only problem is that if you look at the goals the Canaries conceded, their defending was more like League One standard. That is a major worry.
Newcastle also played one of the leading clubs, and lost at home to Arsenal.
The Magpies could maybe have done a bit more going forward but, although I think Steve Bruce is going to take a bit of time to work out what his best team is, I don’t think they are going to struggle.
Bruce’s side will have to deal with a lively atmosphere at Carrow Road in Norwich’s first home game back in the top flight, and the Canaries will be at full throttle.
Daniel Farke’s side are dangerous, but I do worry about them – they scored lots of goals in the Championship last season, but they conceded a load too.
If they are going to be as open as they were at Anfield when they play at home as well, then they are going to get some beatings.
Lawro’s prediction: Norwich 1-2 Newcastle
It’s early days, but a win really would be huge for either side.
Considering we have Spurs, Watford and Liverpool in our next three after Saturday, this is by far our most winnable game and a big chance for Bruce to get the early season skeptics on side.