Mark Lawrenson states his prediction for Newcastle v Liverpool
Mark Lawrenson looks ahead to Liverpool's trip to Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday
Mark Lawrenson is tipping Liverpool to secure a 2-0 victory against Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Reds head into the game on the back of their 1-1 draw in the Champions League with CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night as they failed to pick up their first group-stage win of the season.
Liverpool have been in stuttering form in the Premier League so far this term but they secured three points on their most recent outing with a 3-2 victory over Leicester City last weekend.
The Merseyside outfit head into this weekend’s round of fixtures in fifth place in the Premier League table and five points behind joint leaders Manchester City and Manchester United.
However, former Reds man Lawrenson is expecting to see Liverpool keep a clean sheet and take all three points on Sunday afternoon.
Writing in his column for BBC Sport, Lawrenson said: “After watching Newcastle’s defeat by Brighton last weekend, I was left thinking the Magpies have got a lot of work to do to stay in the Premier League.
“Yes, Rafael Benitez’s side had won their previous three matches but they did not create much against the Seagulls, let alone show that they have got anything to trouble the big teams.
“The Magpies are good at attacking set-pieces, and Liverpool are obviously not very good at defending them – but I think the Reds will keep a clean sheet too because other than free-kicks and corners, the home side might not offer very much.
“Newcastle’s defence is going to have to be one of their strengths this season, and under Rafael Benitez it will be.
“It will be fascinating to see how Benitez sets his team up, and they will be very competitive, but I don’t see them keeping his old club quiet.
“If you offered Rafa a point now he would probably snap your hand off – but I think Liverpool will take all three.”
Liverpool are aiming to improve on their fourth-placed finish in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp last season.
The Reds have never won the Premier League title and will be aiming to mount a serious challenge for the top flight this term.
Liverpool started last season in promising form but their dip in the new year left them scrapping for a top four finish.