Mark Lawrenson and Michael Owen have released their predictions ahead of Sunday’s clash with Everton – and they’re surprisingly optimistic from a Newcastle standpoint.
Both pundits believe that Everton’s injury and suspension woes will severely hamper them, feeling Steve Bruce will come away with some sort of result against the table-topping Toffees.
Lawrenson expects us to beat the league leaders – and he believes that Bruce is trying to play more offensive football than Benitez ever did – while Owen backs us to come away with a point via a 1-1 draw.
Here’s what both had to say, starting with Lawro’s prediction for the BBC:
“Lucas Digne joins Richarlison in being suspended for Everton after his red card in their defeat against Southampton.
“Everton have still made an excellent start to the season despite losing that game but I have a feeling they will end up empty-handed here too.
“So far this season, Everton have been top for 29 days, Leicester 12 and Arsenal for seven (correct before Friday and Saturday’s fixtures).
“When they need a bit of luck, Newcastle seem to get it – against Tottenham and then Wolves, when they nicked a point from both.
“Steve Bruce’s side hang in there in a lot of games, which is essentially what they did under previous manager Rafael Benitez too.
“But Bruce is trying to be a bit more offensive at times in certain games, and I think we’ll see the Magpies create some chances on Sunday.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Everton
I’m not sure where he’s got the idea that we’re more offensive under Bruce – I’ll be pleasantly surprised if we’re doing anything other than ‘hanging in there’ on Sunday afternoon!
Owen’s Prediction is slightly more realistic in my opinion. He thinks that it will be a tight affair, with NUFC stealing another point in a 1-1 draw:
“Newcastle host Everton in a match where both sides will fancy their chances of getting a result.
“It will be interesting to see how Everton react after last weekend’s defeat against Southampton.
“It could have dented their spirits slightly, and if Newcastle sense that, I think they’ll cause problems.
“This one could be tight, so I’m going for a score draw.”
Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Everton
I can’t help but fear it’ll be another gruelling watch for us fans, with us playing for any sort of result like we did against Wolves.
I hope I’m wrong, and we ‘cause problems’ going forward – just like Owen states – against this Everton side without several first-team stars!