Newcastle have appointed Rafael Benitez, as they look to save themselves from relegation this season.
The Spanish boss will take charge of Newcastle’s last 10 matches, with the Tynesiders currently stationed in 19th place in the Premier League table.
Newcastle are one point adrift of safety, with Sunderland currently occupying the coveted final spot above the relegation zone.
The Black Cats have been in great form in recent weeks, and Kilbane believes that Sam Allardyce’s experience will guide his former side away from trouble.
“No, I don’t think he [Benitez] will [keep them up],” Kilbane said. “Big Sam has more experience at the bottom, in that sort of position, and I think Sunderland will stay up ahead of Newcastle.”
Benitez’s mission to save Newcastle starts later this evening, when he takes his side to the King Power Stadium to take on league leaders Leicester City.
Newcastle will make it out of the drop zone if they are able to get the three points later this evening, but they have not won an away match in 2016 so far.
Newcastle and Sunderland then meet on March 20th, in what could be a season defining Tyne-Wear derby.