Former Arsenal attacker Paul Merson has suggested in The Daily Star that Newcastle United will not get relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season.
Newcastle have made a disappointing start to the campaign and are at the bottom of the league table with just two points from five matches.
Merson has stated that he is a fan of Newcastle head coach Steve McClaren and has backed him to lead the Magpies to safety.
“I don’t think Newcastle are as bad as their rock-bottom position suggests,” the former Arsenal attacker wrote in The Daily Star. “They are not scoring goals but that comes down to confidence.
“I can see them getting out of it. They haven’t really been hammered by anyone and they are always in games. I’d be shocked if they went down.”
Merson has also highlighted a difference in the managerial situation between Sunderland and Newcastle.
“The only thing is that Sunderland can just change their manager pretty easily if they want to, while it’s a bit harder for Newcastle because McClaren has only just started on a long-term contract,” the Englishman wrote in The Daily Star. “But I think they will be okay if they stick with him.”
Sunderland themselves are struggling for points and for form at the moment, and are level on points with Newcastle.
The Black Cats struggled for survival in the Premier League last season, and it seems that they are going to have to fight to avoid the drop this time around as well.
Dick Advocaat kept Sunderland up last season, and perhaps he would be able to do the same this term.