Paul Merson has predicted a 2-0 home defeat for Newcastle v Manchester United on Sunday, but said that with Jamaal Lascelles’s ability from set pieces, “you never know” .
The former Arsenal and Aston Villa winger called the result through his Sky Sports column and felt that although Newcastle would pose a threat to the Red Devils, especially through set-piece opportunities with the likes of Lascelles, it wouldn’t be enough to get anything from the game.
It is a must-win game though for the Magpies who have won only once in their last five league games and sit 17th in the table.
Benitez’ side are only safe from the relegation zone on goal difference and have another tricky match to contend with against Bournemouth next weekend.
Merson pointed to Jose Mourinho side’s efficiency for the reasoning behind his anticipated result, and having watched the Reds dispatch a weakened Huddersfield team 2-0 last time out, he expects the same again.
The match could see Benitez hand transfer window signing Islam Slimani his first start since his loan move to the north-east and supporters of the club will undoubtedly want their new man to fire them away from the drop.
Newcastle’s goalscoring woes have been clear for all to see this season with Joselu and Perez the club’s top scorers, netting just four apiece.
In other Newcastle United news, confirmed: Magpies beat off huge transfer hunt to snap up international striker.

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