Former Liverpool star and current BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said that he expects Newcastle United to secure a comfortable win over Luton Town in their FA Cup clash on Saturday.
The Magpies go into the home tie off the back of a 1-0 win over Stoke City on New Year’s Day, Ayoze Perez’s strike ensuring that Rafael Benitez and his men made the perfect start to 2018 after a difficult opening half of the season.
Luton meanwhile have stormed to the top of League Two, sitting four points clear of Notts County, and will be visiting Tyneside in high spirits after a 4-2 victory over Lincoln in what was their first game since the turn of the year.
However, despite the differing fortunes in the clubs’ respective leagues, Lawrenson is not backing the prospect of a major upset on Tyneside, although insists that playing at home could well be the deciding factor as he expects a host of changes to the Magpies’ line up.
Predicting a 2-0 win for Benitez’s side, he wrote on BBC Sport’s website: “Newcastle have got home advantage against Luton in their tie and I think that will see them through, no matter what team Magpies boss Rafa Benitez picks.
“I hope the Hatters fans who are travelling in numbers get something for their money though.”
Luton were in the north east for the last round of the FA Cup, beating Newcastle’s near neighbours Gateshead 5-0 to set up Saturday’s clash across the River Tyne, which could see the son’s of Magpies favourite Rob Lee turn out at St James’ Park, both Olly and Elliot playing for the League Two side.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, the club are looking to reignite a potentially record breaking swoop for an international playmaker in January.