Mark Lawrenson has told BBC Sport that Leeds United will be even more dangerous than usual as he backed the Whites to beat Newcastle 2-0 on Tuesday.
The clash at St James’ Park pits two out-of-form sides against each other. Leeds have lost their last three, with arguably their worst league performance of the season coming against Brighton last time out.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s struggles stretch back considerably longer. They have not won in 10 in all competitions. That run includes eight defeats.
Steve Bruce’s men were in action at the weekend as they faced Aston Villa in the top flight. Leeds on the other hand, have had 10 days off after the loss to the Seagulls.
And Lawrenson suggested that the break Marcelo Bielsa’s side has enjoyed will be crucial – as will the return of one particular player. He also made an ominous prediction regarding Bruce.
“Leeds are another side who had the weekend off after going out of the FA Cup and, the way they play, that rest will make them even more dangerous,” he told BBC Sport, as he predicted a 2-0 win for Leeds.
“They will be running even more than usual, and they have key midfielder Kalvin Phillips back after he missed the defeat by Brighton through suspension.
“Newcastle are in awful form – without a win in 10 games in all competitions, with seven defeats and only four goals in that period.
“If sacking season has started now, with Frank Lampard leaving Chelsea, then Steve Bruce is in trouble as Newcastle manager if this run continues.”
Leeds having Phillips back will certainly be a huge boost for the Whites. Pascal Struijk struggled to stamp his authority on the game last time out.
They should also be boosted by the return of Diego Llorente. And they will be hoping to secure a result which adds to the pressure on Bruce.
Newcastle have scored one goal in their last eight games. And that run continuing much longer could well be bad news for the Magpies boss.