Kevin Keegan says Norwich City and Sunderland will be relegated

The legendary Newcastle man believes his old side will stay up.

Former Newcastle United boss Kevin Keegan has told the South Wales Evening Post that his old club will be safe from relegation, but believes Norwich City and Sunderland will join Aston Villa in the Championship next season.

The Magpies sit 19th in the Premier League table, level on points with 18th-placed Norwich and one behind their bitter North East rivals in 17th - albeit with a game in hand over both clubs.

Villa, meanwhile, sit rooted to the bottom of the standings, with the nine points separating them and safety suggesting that Remi Garde's side are as good as doomed - especially if they lose at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Rafael Benitez was announced as Steve McClaren's successor at St James's Park on Friday evening, and Keegan, who enjoyed two spells as Newcastle boss, says that his former club will avoid relegation this season.

"Villa, Norwich and Sunderland would be my tips to go down," Keegan told the South Wales Evening Post.

"I think Newcastle will be alright, but my opinion could change if they lose to Sunderland next week. That's a huge game for both clubs."

Next Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby at St James's Park could go a long way toward determining who stays in the top flight.

Victory for Newcastle at Premier League leaders Leicester City on Monday would see them move two points clear of Sunderland ahead of a massive meeting.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch