'Surely they won't just sit back?' - Pundit questions Newcastle United's approach and makes shock Sheffield United prediction
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson is backing Sheffield United to BEAT Newcastle United after questioning the Magpies’ approach to the game.
The Blades head into the clash at Bramall Lane having picked up their first win of the season in the FA Cup at Bristol Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
Now, Chris Wilder’s men swiftly turn their attention back to the Premier League, praying it's 18th time lucky in their quest for three points.
The Magpies themselves haven’t been in great form recently, picking up just two points from their previous five league game and exiting both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup.
For Newcastle fans, it’d come as no surprise if their team is the Blades’ first scalp – which is how Lawrenson is predicting the result to go with a 2-1 scoreline in favour of the home side.
The former Liverpool defender believes it will be a tight affair and questioned how Steve Bruce’s men will approach the game.
Speaking his regular BBC predictions column, he said: “The Blades will look at this one as winnable too, especially compared with their upcoming Premier League games against Tottenham (h), Manchester United (a) and Manchester City (a). They have got to go for it.
“Newcastle are on a poor run themselves right now, taking only two points from their past six games and going out of the FA Cup at Arsenal.
“I know Newcastle don't do all-out attack whoever they play but surely they won't just sit back at Bramall Lane? I wouldn't understand that, because this is obviously a very winnable game for them too.
“I don't think there will be much in it, but I am going with the Blades here. They are bound to break their duck in the league at some stage, and at least they will have a bit of confidence after the weekend.
“I know people will say it was 'only' Bristol Rovers they beat, but a win's a win when you are in a situation like they are.”
Meanwhile, Lawrenson’s predictions opponent Charlie Forbes for the week, drummer with London punk band Shame, said: “Sheffield United have been pretty abysmal, and I bet the Derby County team of 2007-08 are watching closely hoping that their record for the fewest Premier League points in a season - 11 - gets broken this year. 1-2.”
Newcastle lost to Derby in that season in the Rams’ only win.