Newcastle United should be able to capitalise on one “League One” defending to see off Norwich City on Saturday, according to Mark Lawrenson.
The Magpies lost their opening game of the Premier League season 1-0 to Arsenal on Sunday, but come up against a newly-promoted Canaries side who themselves suffered a 4-1 drubbing against Liverpool.
And Lawro believes that the Toon Army should have enough to pick up their first three points under new manager Steve Bruce.
Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “Norwich have to be applauded for the fact they created chances against Liverpool in their defeat at Anfield on Friday.
“The only problem is that if you look at the goals the Canaries conceded, their defending was more like League One standard. That is a major worry.
“Newcastle also played one of the leading clubs, and lost at home to Arsenal. The Magpies could maybe have done a bit more going forward but, although I think Steve Bruce is going to take a bit of time to work out what his best team is, I don’t think they are going to struggle.
“Bruce’s side will have to deal with a lively atmosphere at Carrow Road in Norwich’s first home game back in the top flight, and the Canaries will be at full throttle.”
Lawrenson predicts a 2-1 win for Newcastle.
Newcastle fans will certainly be hoping that Lawro is right about this one. It may only be the second game of the season, but this one feels like a real must win for the Toon Army. Nobody will have realistically expected a result against Arsenal last weekend, but lose to a newly-promoted side, having spent a pretty penny on new recruits and bringing in a manager who few people wanted in the first place, and suddenly the pressure gauge just begins to creep up ever so slowly. It’s difficult to tell where this Newcastle side should be aiming to finish the season, and at the moment, they are still relatively unproven under Bruce. If they can go out and do a number on Norwich, then there’s no reason to believe that they can’t use that result as a springboard towards looking at a comfortable mid-table campaign. Lose, however, and the relegation dogfight could start very early indeed.