Graeme Souness discusses relegation contenders, expects Newcastle United will survive

St James Park Newcastle

Norwich City, Swansea City, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Bournemouth and Newcastle United are the contenders for the drop.

Graeme Souness has discussed with Sky Sports the six contenders for the drop, coming to the conclusion that Aston Villa look all-but down already while Newcastle United should be fine.

Villa currently sit bottom of the table, picking up just six points from their 16 matches thus far including a winless run of 15 league encounters – an unwanted club record.

Sunderland and Norwich City currently make up the bottom three, managerless Swansea City are just outside the drop zone while Newcastle jumped up to 15th with a win on Sunday.

The Magpies have put their early season woes behind them with back-to-back victories over Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, showing signs that they will be fine come the end of the season.

Villa, though, are in trouble, Souness saying: “Mathematically, if it is still possible, they'll keep believing but they look a sorry group. There was nothing about them which suggest they can get out of trouble.”

Sunderland picked up three wins in six under new boss Sam Allardyce, yet back-to-back defeats have seen them drop back into the bottom three and seemingly short on goal scoring options.

Souness fears for the Black Cats, adding: "Sunderland are in and out - can Big Sam [Allardyce] get some consistency? They're another big football club that feel they shouldn't be there."

Swansea and Norwich look the other two most likely at present, though things could chance for the Swans should they make the right appointment to replace Gary Monk.

The Canaries are another with goal scoring problems, scoring just four in their last seven league matches, and with an increased number of soft goals going in at the other end, it isn’t a good recipe for success.

“Norwich are a team huffing and puffing at the moment, conceding daft goals. They all have to come up with a formula that makes them hard to play against but also allows them to nick goals,” Souness said.

Of the six contenders, one may end up pulling away and the most likely at the moment appears to be Newcastle, considering the quality they have in the squad plus the financial backing.

Steve McClaren’s side have had their wobbles this season, though two victories on the spin and a big home match against Villa coming this weekend, their former boss Souness feels they will be fine.

“It's going to be hard for all of them down there but Newcastle have shown that in a short space of time, you can go from being near enough everyone's favourite to go down to, after today, you think they're going to be fine."

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch