Former Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann believes Sunderland will finish above Newcastle United this season when quizzed on the matter during a Q&A session for Breathe Sport on Twitter.
The Black Cats endured a terrible start the season, picking up just three points from their first eight matches in a run which cost former boss Dick Advocaat his job.
Sam Allardyce has since come in, and his stamp on the club is already evident from the way they play as three clean sheets and three victories have ensued during his six games in charge.
Newcastle United likewise had a poor start the campaign and the past two matches have seen the Magpies ship eight goals to Leicester City and Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace.
The mood among the two North East clubs’ camps are quite different, and Hamann feels with Allardyce in charge Sunderland will finish the campaign in a higher position than their bitter rivals.
Big Sam is a magician, I have to go with the Mackems. https://t.co/I2aKdoSF43— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) December 1, 2015
Despite evidence pointing towards Sunderland coming out on top, the bookmakers aren’t quite as sure as the Black Cats are still favourites to go down with Sky Bet odds of 1/2.
Newcastle’s odds of going down are evens, suggesting that the general consensus backs them to turn their poor form around and at least haul themselves above Bournemouth and Sunderland.
The Magpies have plenty of talent going forward, yet unrest in their ranks coupled with a poor defence could prompt yet further disastrous displays similar to their showing at Palace.
There are still plenty of games to go and once can’t help but feel the January transfer window could play a key role in the bottom clubs’ bid to preserve their Premier League status.