Mark Lawrenson predicts Newcastle v Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Arsenal's trip to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday
Mark Lawrenson is backing Newcastle United to hold Arsenal to a 1-1 draw in Sunday’s Premier League clash at St James’ Park.
The north London side are heading into the Premier League game on the back of having secured their spot in the Europa League semi-finals with a 2-2 draw against CSKA Moscow in Russia on Thursday night.
With Arsenal currently sixth in the Premier League and looking unlikely to finish in the top four this season, their best hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League will be to win the Europa League this term.
The Gunners now turn their attentions back towards Premier League affairs and their trip to St James’ Park to take on Rafael Benitez’s side on Sunday afternoon.
And former Liverpool FC star Lawrenson is backing the Magpies to frustrate the Gunners and hold them to a 1-1 draw in front of their home fans this weekend.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “Arsenal have won their past six games in all competitions but that is what they always seem to do at this stage of the season, when the pressure is off them.
“Newcastle are also on a good run, winning three in a row. They are pretty much safe now and are in the top half, which is great for them because most of this season has been a slog.
“I am going to go for a draw but it is hard to predict a result for this one because I have no idea what sort of team Arsene Wenger will put out after Thursday’s trip to Moscow.
“Winning the Europa League to get into the Champions League is obviously the priority for the Gunners now.”
Arsenal missed out on a place in the top four last season and look set to fail to finish in the top four once again this time around.
The north London side head into this weekend’s round of fixtures in sixth place and 13 points behind fourth-placed Spurs with six games left to play.