BBC expert Mark Lawrenson has actually made his forecasts for this weekend’s Premier League matches. He has Newcastle taking their winless streak to 9 with a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Monday.

Here is Lawrenson’s reasoning behind his prediction:

These two groups met in the FA Cup recently, when Arsenal needed extra time to get through. I don’t expect the Gunners to make such effort of a win 2nd time around.

Newcastle are on a bad run of eight games without a win, and they are not playing well either. The Magpies are quite a negative team at the best of times, however they have actually not been creating quite just recently.

They were awful in the first half of Tuesday’s defeat by Sheffield United, and it feels like if you score first against them, they do not actually know what to do.

They have actually not offered much moving forward, so I absolutely understand why their fans are disappointed, but I do have some sympathy for Newcastle employer Steve Bruce.

When Bruce got the task in July 2019, his remit was to keep Newcastle in the Premier League. That hasn’t changed, so you have to take a look at how he is doing from that point of view.

There’s very little to dispute with Lawro’s take on the match nor the present state of Newcastle. The only part that offers me pause is the part about Steve Bruce’s remit. While Mike Ashley’s only issue is survival, that’s not what Bruce boasted at the start of the season.

After what appeared like an extremely excellent summertime transfer window at the time, Bruce stated his goal was a leading 10 surface before this season started. He may be regretting that now but Bruce has constantly stated he wants to take the club forward, so anything less than a top 10 will be rightfully concerned as a failure.

Though, we may as well simply mark this season as a failure now and hope we can ward off a relegation fight. That would be a sigh of relief at the minute. Things do not look like they are going to improve anytime quickly.

Newcastle are presently equidistant from both 10th-placed West Ham and 18th put Fulham, who are both 7 points away from our present tally of 19. Though the Cottagers have a game in hand. So there’s still some hope Newcastle can turn it around but that hope is being deserted quickly.

There’s very little to get out of Monday’s match between two club heading in various directions. Arsenal have actually won 4 straight in all competitions while Newcastle haven’t won in 8 matches. A 2-0 loss would not surprise anybody though the efficiency will require to improve from Tuesday’s loss at Sheffield.