Paul Merson provides damning assessment of Sunderland's survival chances

Sunderland are set to be relegated this season, according to former Arsenal man Paul Merson.

Paul Merson has told Sky Sports that he believes Sunderland are heading towards the drop this season. 

The Black Cats are locked in a relegation fight and Merson thinks that it is unlikely to have a happy ending for the Wearsiders. 

Merson says that the combination of a lack of attacking quality and a new manager with no Premier League experience will ultimate condemn Sunderland to playing Championship football next term. 

"I think they will go down," he said. "They are not scoring goals, they are not playing well, the manager [Dick Advocaat] has come in and he doesn’t know this league. I think he will find it very difficult."

It is true that Sunderland have a manager with no prior experience of English football in charge after appointing Dick Advocaat, but it is hard to argue that they didn't have to part ways with Gus Poyet.

The Black Cats' problems had been evident throughout the campaign and they appeared to be getting worse instead of better under the Uruguayan's leadership.

Sunderland are in a better position than three other Premier League sides at the moment, and they are currently one point above the drop zone.

It is a slender gap, but it is still an advantage and they will be looking to protect it for the rest of the campaign to prove Merson's prediction wrong. 

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