Mark Lawrenson thinks we’ll will come away from tonight’s game with a 1-1 draw – fearing Steve Bruce will once again set us up to avoid defeat, not go ‘all out’ for a much needed win.
We head into the clash with Aston Villa just one point above the drop zone, with Fulham winning at Liverpool just hours after our dismal 0-0 draw at West Brom last weekend.
Just two wins in 18 games has left Bruce under pressure and our depleted attack devoid of confidence, with many believing tonight’s game is a must-win ahead of next weekend’s relegation six pointer at Brighton.
Aston Villa will be without their talisman Jack Grealish tonight, but Lawrenson still thinks we’ll play on the back foot.
Here’s what he’s told the BBC:
“Aston Villa are still missing Jack Grealish but Newcastle are worse off injury-wise, and are going to be without Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron until the start of April, after the international break.
“Both of these sides drew last time out, Villa against Wolves and Newcastle at West Brom – which was not exactly a thriller.
“I have a feeling this game will be cagey too. The Magpies need the points more, but I think they will still focus on making themselves difficult to beat rather than going all-out for a win.
Lawro’s prediction: 1-1
If Bruce persists with the current system it is going to be difficult for us to create clear-cut chances, and I actually think he will refuse to rotate and stick to his guns.
We can’t buy a win right now and our blunted attack are all bereft of the type of form needed to drag us out of the mire.
Even without Grealish, I think a draw is as good as we can hope for tonight.
Charlie’s prediction: 0-1 Villa.