Mark Lawrenson explains why Sunday’s FA Cup match not a priority for Newcastle United…

    Not for the first time, Mark Lawrenson doesn’t make a lot of sense when talking about Newcastle United.

    The Magpies are in FA Cup action on Sunday, when Manchester City visit St James Park.

    It is the first time in 14 years that Newcastle have reached the quarter-final stage.

    However, despite this, Mark Lawrenson says that this FA Cup match won’t be a priority for Steve Bruce and Newcastle United.

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    The BBC Sport pundit declaring: ‘…still that element of doubt about them staying up…boss Steve Bruce will probably see Wednesday’s league trip to struggling Bournemouth as the priority.’

    This is how the Premier League table currently looks:

    Norwich are pretty much already down and certainly aren’t going to gain over 18 points on Newcastle in their remaining seven games.

    Meanwhile, as well as Southampton two points behind NUFC and Brighton six points behind Newcastle, you have three clubs 12 points behind the black and whites and another 11 points adrift.

    The other two relegation clubs almost certainly from that group of four (Watford, Villa, West Ham and Bournemouth). For Newcastle to stand even a remotest chance of going down, you would need at least three of these four clubs to win at least five games each of the seven matches each have to play.

    To put it into context, since the PL restart, the bottom five have played 11 matches, with zero wins, three draws and eight defeats.

    If you don’t believe me, ask the bookies. You can get a massive 500/1 if you want to back Newcastle for relegation.

    Mark Lawrenson forecasts a 3-0 win for Man City as Newcastle instead focus on the Bournemouth match next Wednesday.

    NUFC may well fail but if they do, it won’t be due to relegation worries this time…

    Mark Lawrenson talking to BBC Sport:

    “If Newcastle had held on to beat Aston Villa in the league on Wednesday, they would be totally safe on 41 points and could have focused fully on this tie.

    “They have already drawn with Manchester City once at St James Park this season and you would be thinking they can have a real go at them.

    “As it is, there is still that element of doubt about them staying up.

    “Although I still think the Magpies will survive, boss Steve Bruce will probably see Wednesday’s league trip to struggling Bournemouth as the priority.

    “City are the FA Cup holders and I am sure they will take this tie seriously but they made eight changes on Monday night and outclassed Burnley.

    “Whatever team they put out, it will be too strong for Newcastle.

    “Prediction: Newcastle United 0 Manchester City 3.”

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