Martin Keown believes Newcastle will beat Norwich, explains how

St James Park

The Magpies travel to Carrow Road on Saturday knowing defeat is not an option.

It's a game Newcastle United simply cannot afford to lose, against the side they are trying catch.

Norwich City, the Magpies' hosts on Saturday afternoon, go into the fixture two points ahead of them in 17th place and buoyed by the 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion, which saw them leapfrog this weekend's opponents and Sunderland in the table.

Newcastle are still to win either of Rafa Benitez's two games as manager and have tasted victory in just one of their last eight matches.

But according to Martin Keown, the Magpies will feel less pressure than Alex Neil's side and the former England defender sees them returning to the North East with all three points.

"This is a game they (Norwich) must not lose, particularly as it's at home," he said during a Q&A session on the Daily Mail website. "That makes life so difficult because that creates a nervous mindset - before the game even starts you are thinking about trying to protect what you have. Newcastle will feel less pressure playing on the road.

"When I watched Newcastle face Leicester in Rafa Benitez's first game, they were as organised as they’ve looked all season. He clearly got his message across quickly. They lost but there were already small signs of improvement.

"Now he has got to inject the confidence back into his team. That can be hard after an international break - it's a whole fortnight to worry about your future - but it's also a period where the manager can consolidate and get his feet under the table

"I expect Norwich to try and grind out a win on Saturday but that makes it nervy, especially with the fans. If you’re trying to play attacking football you get the fans behind you and the players are much more free in their minds.

"Norwich can’t sit deep and try to mop up Newcastle attacks, they have to go and have a go themselves. But I have a feeling Newcastle will win this one."

Though they have a game in hand on their opponents, defeat for Newcastle would leave them five points behind the Canaries with seven fixtures remaining.

Sunderland host West Bromwich Albion at the same time as their rivals' clash.

Keown has previously been involved in a relegation battle himself, with Aston Villa during the 1986-87 season.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch