Considering he’s still paid by the BBC to deliver weekly predictions and a former Match of the Day pundit, I can’t quite believe what I’ve just read from Mark Lawrenson.
Despite us being 12 points clear of the drop zone with just 7 Premier League games left to play, he believes Steve Bruce will ‘prioritise’ next week’s trip to Bournemouth over tomorrow’s FA Cup quarter final against Manchester City…
Why? Because he believes there’s still an “element of doubt” surrounding Newcastle United’s survival hopes.
Now I’ll say it again, we are TWELVE points clear of the drop zone after a win and a draw since football returned. In fact, we’re actually two points closer to the Champions League spots than we are to going down, as things stand!
This combined with the fact we haven’t won a major trophy since 1955 or made a cup semi-final for 15 years makes Lawro’s argument absolutely absurd.
Nevertheless, here’s what he’s had to say during his latest prediction piece for the BBC – where he backs the blues to beat us 0-3:
If Newcastle had held on to beat Aston Villa in the league on Wednesday, they would be totally safe on 41 points and could have focused fully on this tie.
They have already drawn with Manchester City once at St James’ Park this season and you would be thinking they can have a real go at them.
As it is, there is still that element of doubt about them staying up and, although I still think the Magpies will survive, boss Steve Bruce will probably see Wednesday’s league trip to struggling Bournemouth as the priority.
City are the FA Cup holders and I am sure they will take this tie seriously but they made eight changes on Monday night and outclassed Burnley. Whatever team they put out, it will be too strong for Newcastle.
Lawro’s prediction: 0-3
Maybe there’s a TINY slither of ‘doubt’ about our Premier League status until we pass that 40 point mark, but there’s absolutely no reason why Bruce would see next week’s trip to Bournemouth as the ‘priority’ here.
After all, he’s vowed to take the cups seriously all season and has delivered on that promise, so why on earth would he take it easy now he has a chance to make a semi-final?
Not only that, you could argue a shock win over City and FA Cup glory could be his big chance to save his job should a takeover happen?
Barmy comments from Lawrenson, especially when he admits “you would be thinking they can have a real go at them” after our 2-2 draw at St James’ Park earlier this season – yet backs us to focus on the Bournemouth game instead!