Merson predicts Sunderland v Newcastle United, calls big result

Paul Merson predicts misery for Newcastle United on derby day against Sunderland.

Paul Merson has told SkySports he feels Sunderland will get back to winning ways when they face Newcastle United at the weekend.

The former Arsenal midfielder is confident Sam Allardyce will record his first win as manager since being appointed earlier this month.

Sunderland have a strong recent record in derby matches against Newcastle and Merson believes this will continue.

He said: "I don't see Sunderland losing this game, home advantage and 40,000-odd Mackems cheering them on is massive

"They (Newcastle) play an open style of football which is great to watch but that could hand the game to Sunderland. The Big Sam factor, coupled with the fact they have to win, I see Sunderland just snatching this one to make it six in a row."

Taking into account last week's results, Merson's prediction goes against the form book. Sunderland lost 1-0 against West Brom, while Newcastle hammered Norwich 6-2.

The manner of the victory Newcastle showed against Norwich will give the Magpies real confidence after a tough start of the season, and Merson may well be underestimating this factor.

Both sides are still in the relegation zone, with Newcastle in 18th place and Sunderland in 20th. Allardyce can draw the Black Cats level on points with their rivals with a win, but a loss would be an awful result for him with a six point gap opened up between the two teams.

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