BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has made his predictions for the midweek Premier League fixtures. He has Newcastle losing at Sheffield United 2-1. This is Lawrenson’s prediction in full.
Sheffield United keep on picking up points and I am very aware I have not tipped them enough to win this season.
I keep thinking they will run out of steam but that has not happened, and they have already shown that they are far better than I thought they were.
I thought they would stay up but I did not expect them to be as high as they are, and they just look so comfortable at this level.
It is going to be interesting what Newcastle try to do against them, and how much energy they have got left, because they worked so hard in their draw against Manchester City on Saturday.
Sheffield United are one of the surprise teams so far this season. The newly promoted side are seventh in the table with 19 points. They are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League fixtures though they haven’t managed a win in the previous three.
Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder has worked wonders since he joined the club winning promotion to the Championship in his first full season in 2016/17. He now has them back in the Premier League and seemingly overachieving.
Newcastle, in 14th, are just three points behind the Blades but with a much worse goal difference of -9 to their +4.
Lawrenson points to the amount of energy Newcastle exhausted on Saturday to gain a point against Manchester City as a negative.
However, we don’t see it that way as Newcastle can take the emotion with them to Sheffield on Thursday. Though, they’ll need to avoid another dud like the last away match at Villa Park.
That performance should still be fresh in the minds of everyone at Newcastle, so hopefully, a repeat will be avoided.
We may even see a bit of rotation in the team, and that could prove beneficial as the fight for places should keep everyone on their toes.
This is a massive one for Newcastle as a win would be a magnificent start to a busy December.