Mark Lawrenson reveals intriguing Newcastle United prediction ahead of Aston Villa clash
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In his weekly predictions piece for BBC Sport, pundit and broadcaster Mark Lawrenson tipped the two sides to play out a 1-1 draw.
Explaining his choice, the ex-Liverpool star claimed: “Aston Villa are still missing Jack Grealish but Newcastle are worse off injury-wise, and are going to be without Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron until the start of April, after the international break.
“Both of these sides drew last time out, Villa against Wolves and Newcastle at West Brom - which was not exactly a thriller.
“I have a feeling this game will be cagey too. The Magpies need the points more, but I think they will still focus on making themselves difficult to beat rather than going all-out for a win.”
Meanwhile, actor Frank Harper, Lawro's sparring partner for the week, went for a 2-0 Aston Villa win.
The last time the Magpies took on the Villains, back in January, goals from summer signing Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore saw Dean Smith's side secure a comfortable 2-0 victory at Villa Park.
A win for Newcastle could see them leapfrog Burnley into 15th place, while a defeat, if results around them don't go their way, could result in Steve Bruce's side plummeting into the dreaded relegation zone, as the season approaches its dramatic finale in a matter of weeks.