Newcastle United legend Micky Quinn has written in The Chronicle that Sunderland will retain their Premier League status for next season.
The Black Cats are currently 17th in the league table with 26 points from 29 matches, just a point above the relegation zone.
Sunderland have a new manager in charge - Dick Advocaat - and Quinn expects them not to suffer relegation to the Championship at the end of the season.
The 52-year-old also believes that Middlesbrough will get promoted to the Premier League.
“The Mackems are in an even bigger mess than us, although I do think they will stay up,” Quinn wrote in The Chronicle. “Just. I also believe Middlesbrough will be promoted, which is great for North East football.”
Will Sunderland stay up?
Sunderland may be struggling for survival in the Premier League, but they do have a good chance of staying up.
The bottom three sides - Leicester City, Queens Park Rangers and Burnley - all are in poor form and struggling for points.
Moreover, the likes of Aston Villa and Hull City are not entirely safe, which means that the Black Cats can avoid the drop if they make sure that their results are not as bad as those below them for the rest of the season.
Will Middlesbrough get promoted?
Middlesbrough are currently second in the Championship table with 72 points from 38 matches, level on points with leaders Watford but behind on goal difference.
Aitor Karanka’s side have been around the top two for most of the season, and there is a good chance that they could gain automatic promotion to the Premier League.
It will be tough for Boro, but if they can maintain consistency for the rest of the season, then they could end up in the top two.