Mark Lawrenson has backed Tottenham to beat Newcastle United on Sunday but insisted he does not expect the Lilywhites to qualify for the Champions League. 

Tottenham return to Premier League action against the Magpies at home and Antonio Conte’s men will be looking to pick up all three points to pile the pressure on Arsenal, who travel away to Crystal Palace on Monday night. 

Spurs currently sit three points off their North London rivals in the race for fourth place and although Mikel Arteta’s side have a game in hand, they also have a much harder set of fixtures until the end of the season.

However, Lawrenson believes that Spurs are not the favourites to sneak into fourth, given the inconsistency that has plagued Antonio Conte’s men over the last few months.

The pundit backed the Lilywhites to get all three points on Sunday but insisted they look like a team of strangers on occasions.

Lawrenson told BBC Sport: “I just have a feeling Newcastle could have an indifferent run now. The Magpies have lost their last two games and it worries me a bit that one or two of their players might think the job is done and they are safe.

“It probably is, but they still need to maintain their form and show manager Eddie Howe they can be relied upon, on a regular basis and not just in a short burst.

“So these next few games will be interesting and might tell us something about the characters in the Newcastle squad. As for Tottenham, well I think they will win this game, but I still wouldn’t be confident about their chances of making the top four.

“There always seems to be poor performance around the corner, when they look like a team who have just met for the first time. It’s what Spurs do. Prediction: 2-0.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

While Tottenham’s results over the last couple of months have been inconsistent, the performances have generally been good. Even in the losses against the likes of Burnley, Wolves and Man Utd, I did not think we played particularly badly.

Spurs also clearly have a lot more goals in their team than the likes of Arsenal and Man Utd, which is why I believe Conte would be quietly confident of securing Champions League qualification.

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