NUFC predictions arrive from Paul Merson, Mark Lawrenson & Michael Owen ahead of Norwich clash

The pundits are backing Newcastle United to come away with a massive three points tonight.

Sky Sports’ Paul Merson (2-0), the BBC’s Mark Lawrenson (2-1) and former Mag Michael Owen (2-0) have all predicted home wins ahead of tonight’s crucial clash with Norwich City at St James’ Park.

That said, Merson believes we’ll have to beat both Norwich AND Burnley on Saturday if we’re to stay up – a feeling some supporters have also expressed given we’re currently six points adrift and facing an awful run of fixtures over the festive period.

Norwich arrive in much better form following Dean Smith’s arrival, with them picking up two wins and a draw in their last three league games.

Here’s what the pundits have had to say ahead of tonight’s six-pointer at St James’ Park:

Paul Merson (via Sportskeeda)

This is a massive game for both teams. Norwich have turned the corner a little bit with two good results in the Premier League. They did well against Wolves and probably could’ve beaten them. Norwich have now put themselves in a position where they can afford to just draw this game.

Newcastle went gung-ho against Brentford but conceded three goals. They sat back against Arsenal and kept it tight – fair play to them. When they have to go win a game, however, I’m not sure they’re good enough to keep a clean sheet.

I can’t emphasise how massive the next four days are for Newcastle. If they don’t win their next two games, they probably will be relegated by the end of the season. They haven’t played a cup final in god knows how long – this is a cup final. It’s an absolute must-win game of the highest order. They’re already six points adrift, and they have to win these two games.

If Norwich are brave, I think they can get something out of this. I think Norwich are going to sit back and let the hosts play, and that could play into Newcastle’s hands this week.

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-0 Norwich City

Mark Lawrenson (via BBC Sport)

I hate to use the phrase ‘must-win’ but that is what this game is for Newcastle, who haven’t managed a single victory in their first 13 games and are entering the desperation stage of their season.

It’s a big night for next-to-bottom Norwich too, but they come into it unbeaten under new boss Dean Smith and having taken seven points from their past three games.

I think the home crowd will play a big part here, because they realise relegation is staring them in the face. That might be enough to get Newcastle over the line, and get them a win – at last.

Prediction: Newcastle United 2-1 Norwich City

Michael Owen (via Bet Victor)

Bottom club Newcastle need to pick up fast. They may be the richest side in the league, but without reinforcements in January, it’s hard to picture them not in a dogfight for survival come May.

They welcome fellow strugglers, Norwich, to St James’ Park here. The visitors have seen a slight upturn in form, and with a bit of luck, could’ve landed all three points at Molineux on Saturday.

I think this one will be tight. All in all, I think it might take Eddie Howe a bit of time to get his ideas across, but in front of a packed home crowd, I think they might just get the result they crave here.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-0 Norwich

Our record against Norwich is impressive, winning six and drawing twice in our last eight Premier League meetings at St James’ Park.

Let’s hope that continues tonight!

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

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