BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson is expecting Arsenal to secure a comfortable win when they take on Newcastle at the Emirates tomorrow night.
The Gunners won after extra-time against the same opponents in the FA Cup third-round tie recently but Lawrenson doesn’t believe it will be as difficult this time:
“These two teams met in the FA Cup last week, when Arsenal needed extra time to get through. I don’t expect the Gunners to make such hard work of a win second time around. Newcastle are on a bad run of eight games without a win, and they are not playing well either.”
Lawrenson has gone with a 2-0 victory for Arsenal, which seems like a decent prediction, considering the form of the two teams. Mikel Arteta’s side may have drawn 0-0 against Crystal Palace last time out but that came off the back of three successive wins.
In contrast, the Magpies have not won in any competition since the 2-1 victory over West Brom last month, with manager Steve Bruce under huge pressure due to their poor recent results.
Like the FA Cup tie, this is likely to be a tightly-contested game due to the fact that Arsenal do struggle to create chances, especially against teams like Newcastle who play with a low block. As Lawrenson says, though, they should have enough to grab the three points.