Leeds United will be even more dangerous than usual when they travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United this evening.
That’s according to Mark Lawrenson, who is tipping the Whites to make a return to winning ways against the Magpies on Tuesday night.
Leeds will be looking to end a three-game losing run when they take on Steve Bruce’s side at St James’ Park, having suffered defeats to Brighton and Tottenham in the league, either side of being knocked out of the FA Cup by Crawley.
Following that defeat to the League Two side at the third round stage, Leeds were not in action over the course of the weekend, with their last outing being the defeat to Brighton ten days ago.
Newcastle meanwhile, suffered a 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa in a rearranged Premier League game on Saturday, a result which means Steve Bruce’s side are now winless in their last ten in all competitions going into this one.
That is something that Lawrenson believes could all play into Leeds’ hands here, as they look for a return to form on Tuesday.
Writing about the game in his regular predictions column for the BBC, the former Liverpool defender said: “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.
“They will be running even more than usual, and they have key midfielder Kalvin Phillips back after he miss the defeat by Brighton through suspension.”
Indeed, it seems Lawrenson believes a win for Leeds could be disastrous for Bruce’s future at Newcastle, as he added: “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.”
Even so, Lawrenson has predicted Leeds to pick up a 2-0 win at St James’.
I do think Lawrenson may have a point here.
Newcastle have looked really slow out of possession in recent games, and if Leeds can pick up their best pace – which they ought to be able to do after a decent rest – then you imagine they will have too much for the Magpies.
The return of Kalvin Phillips will also be a big boost for the Whites, given the extra element of dominance he will provide them with in the centre of the park.
I would therefore be surprised if Leeds do not claim the win here, and in the wake of those recent results, it would certainly be a timely one for all concerned with the club.