Pundit expects Newcastle United to struggle in FA Cup

Newcastle United face a tough second half to the season as they try to retain their Premier League status.

Rafael Benitez and his men stormed back into the top flight from the Championship in the 2016-17 campaign, but they have since struggled for consistency.

As it stands, the North-East outfit are just two points above the relegation zone, but four clubs sit between themselves and the bottom three.

The Magpies have won just six league matches out of 22 and across November and December, the team picked up just four points from a possible 21.

Recent results have looked slightly positive as they are unbeaten in two, but they scored just once.

This weekend, Newcastle will switch attention to the third round of the FA Cup, in which they will play League Two club Luton Town at St James’ Park.

Former Arsenal player Charlie Nicholas thinks that the North-East outfit will struggle to ease to victory.

In fact, the football pundit has predicted that the lower-league side will force a replay with a 2-2 draw.

The Scotsman toldĀ Sky Sports:

“After a great result at Stoke I’m expecting Rafael Benitez to make changes given it has only put Newcastle two points above the drop zone. He’s not got a big squad and they don’t score a lot of goals, so the idea of a comfortable afternoon is foreign for the St James’ Park faithful.

“In contrast all we hear with Luton is they’re scoring four or five. They also have their problems defensively and will come to attack so I’m going for them to get a replay here in what is a really awkward one for Newcastle right now.”