Robbie Savage has predicted in The Mirror that Newcastle United will finish 16th in the Premier League this season.
The former Derby County and Leicester City midfielder believes that new head coach Steve McClaren will have to prove himself at the Magpies.
“Steve McClaren has a lot to prove after the way Derby fell apart in the final third of last season in the Championship,” Savage wrote in The Mirror.
“Skipper Fabricio Coloccini has signed a new contract, which is just as well – at times the defending in 2014-15 was embarrassing. Brave new dawns on Tyneside must wait.”
Earlier this month, Savage predicted on Breathesport.com that Newcastle will suffer relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
It seems that the 40-year-old former Wales international has reconsidered that stance and has now backed the Magpies to retain their Premier League status.
However, not many Newcastle fans will agree with Savage’s revised season predictions.
The Magpies have signed three very good players in Georginio Wijnaldum, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Chancel Mbemba, and they will be aiming for a top-10 finish in the Premier League this season.
Sunderland to finish above Newcastle United
Savage has also backed Newcastle’s bitter rivals Sunderland to escape the drop to the Championship and has predicted a 15th-place finish in the Premier League table for the Black Cats.
“I’m worried when a manager announces he’s off – and then changes his mind a week later, as Dick Advocaat did in May,” the former Blackburn Rovers man wrote in The Mirror.
“But he has pulled off a coup by landing Yann M’Vila, and the Black Cats have turned great escapes into a fine art. Safe again, but not by much.”
Savage made his prediction before this weekend’s round of matches, and he probably did not expect Sunderland to go down 4-2 to Leicester City away from home on Saturday.
The Foxes were 3-0 up at one stage at the King Power Stadium, thanks to goals from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez (two).
Jermain Defoe pulled one back for visiting Sunderland on the hour mark, but Marc Albrighton restored Leicester’s three-goal advantage just six minutes later before Steven Fletcher headed home his side’s second.