BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has given his predictions for the next round of Premier League fixtures. He has Newcastle only managing a 1-1 draw against struggling Aston Villa.
Here is his prediction in full:
I’ve said before that I think Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has done a really good job and his side know how to play his system. That’s why they are safe already.
Sunday’s win over Sheffield United essentially secured the Magpies’ survival – they are 13th, 11 points above the bottom three with eight games to go.
Villa, meanwhile, are still in deep trouble. They have had a bit of a nightmare in their first two games back, and I think they will have to wait a little bit longer for their first win since January.
After Sunday’s performance, a draw would be a disappointment in our book. Villa are in loads of trouble at the moment and haven’t played very well in their two games back since the league returned.
However, they are fighting for their Premier League lives which makes them a dangerous opponent. A win against the Magpies could see them escape the dreaded drop zone.
Newcastle seem to have something about them. They were outstanding on Sunday and look primed to shoot up the table. There’s an air of confidence permeating through the team and they look like such a close-knit group at the moment.
We expect Bruce to keep the same team he deployed against the Blades, with a slight chance he’ll make one or two changes.
A win will see Newcastle surpass that magical 40 point threshold, though as Lawro states, we are almost certainly safe now.
Lawrenson had his streak of five straight predictions snapped after going for a draw on Sunday. So let’s hope he wrong this time as well, and we capture all three points at home against Aston Villa.
After all, Bruce and the lads want to finish as high as possible. Lawrenson seems to think we’ll take the foot off the gas now that we are in all likelihood safe from the drop.