Fri 22 Dec 2023, 08:54 by Ash Harrison

'Very difficult': Paul Merson now struggles to predict the score between Luton and Newcastle

'Very difficult': Paul Merson now struggles to predict the score between Luton and Newcastle
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This weekend Newcastle United travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in the Premier League for a 3pm Saturday kick-off.

The Premier League new boys are still adjusting to life in the top flight, but their progress was disrupted in horrible fashion last week when their game against Bournemouth was abandoned. Luton captain Tom Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest during the game causing the match to be called off. Thankfully the Wales international is now back home and recovering.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have struggled on the road all season with just one Premier League win away from home to their name so far. Albeit a spectacular 8-0 battering of Sheffield United.

If the Magpies squad wasn't so depleted through injuries you'd expect this one would be an easy one to call, however, pundits are struggling with this one.

Paul Merson had difficulty picking a winner

Kieran trippier
Reuters
Will Trippier bounce back against Luton or will Eddie Howe drop him?

Paul Merson seemingly went back and forth on his prediction before settling on a scoreline for his column on Sportskeeda.

"I went to watch the game between Chelsea and Newcastle United in midweek. The Magpies might have only lost on penalties, but they did not look fluent at all. Luton Town are tough to play against at Kenilworth Road and this is a tricky fixture to call.

"Newcastle United have got just way too many injuries and they’re not anywhere close to full strength. Their players are dropping like flies at the moment.

"Kieran Trippier is struggling right now and it’s sad to see. His confidence seems to have dropped after a strong start to the season. I just think this is going to be a very difficult game for Eddie Howe’s men.

"If Luton get in front first, I don’t see Newcastle steamrolling them after that. I’m leaning towards Luton but I still think the spoils might be shared in this one.

"Prediction: Luton Town 1-1 Newcastle United"

Not beating Luton would definitely be a red flag

Given the fact that Newcastle's away record matches Luton's home record this season, a draw does make sense, but we stand by what we've said before, we surely have enough talent still fit to see off this challenge.

If Newcastle do end up slipping up against Luton then that has to be a sign to the board that they need to get that cheque book out next month.

No offence, Luton.

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