By Russell Edge
Former Liverpool defender Mark Lawrenson has said that Newcastle United have a lot of work to do if they are to remain as a Premier League side this season.
The Magpies currently sit eighth in the Premier League table on nine points, having gone on a three match winning streak after defeats to Tottenham and Huddersfield.
However they succumbed 1-0 away to fellow promoted side Brighton last week, and the former Reds star says he is worried about the quality that Rafael Benitez’s side possess to compete with the big boys in the top flight.
Making his prediction on the BBC Sport website, in which he says he is expecting a 2-0 win for Liverpool, he states: “After watching Newcastle’s defeat by Brighton last weekend, I was left thinking the Magpies have got a lot of work to do to stay in the Premier League.
“They did not create much against the Seagulls, let alone show that they have got anything to trouble the big teams.
“Other than free-kicks and corners, the home side might not offer very much.
“Newcastle’s defence is going to have to be one of their strengths this season, and under Rafael Benitez it will be.”
Lawrenson’s damning verdict of the Magpies comes despite the club sitting 12th on the list of top scorers this season, with six, although the former Liverpool man is right in saying they pose a threat from set plays.
Two of those six goals have come from corners, with Jamaal Lascelles netting both from Matt Ritchie’s delivery.
Following Sunday’s clash with Jurgen Klopp’s side, the Magpies have a two week break thanks to international matches before making the long journey down to the south coast to take on Southampton.
In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has made an interesting prediction ahead of a return to St James’ Park for Georginio Wijnaldum.