Mark Lawrenson reveals intriguing Newcastle United prediction ahead of Aston Villa clash

Newcastle United's attempt to steer clear of the relegation battle continue this evening, when they take on Aston Villa at St James' Park in an eagerly-awaited Friday night clash under the floodlights.
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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.

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“Both of these sides drew last time out, Villa against Wolves and Newcastle at West Brom - which was not exactly a thriller.

Mark Lawrenson's Newcastle United vs Aston Villa predictionMark Lawrenson's Newcastle United vs Aston Villa prediction
Mark Lawrenson's Newcastle United vs Aston Villa prediction

“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.

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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.