Beresford claims Newcastle will stay up; predicts two wins

Newcastle United have once again endured an extremely disappointing season in the top flight and are deeply entrenched in a relegation battle.

Ex-Newcastle United defender John Beresford claims his former side have a good chance of avoiding relegation, but only because of the arrival of Rafa Benitez, as reported by the Newcastle Chronicle.

Beresford, who made 233 appearances for the North East side, hailed the boost that Rafa has given the club.

"If Benitez wasn’t there, I’m saying: ‘No chance - they’re down'," Beresford said. "I just think sometimes things fall into place and the stars are all in alignment. I just think he’s come in here when in a sense they had no chance."

The Geordies did fantastically well to battle back from two goals down to earn a point at Anfield on Saturday, but still find themselves a point adrift of Norwich City and fierce rivals Sunderland having played a game more than both sides.

Benitez's men face what will be their biggest game of the season at the weekend as they host Crystal Palace. This is followed by a trip to already relegated Aston Villa before their final fixture of the campaign at home to Tottenham Hotspur. 

Beresford thinks two wins will be enough to ensure Newcastle's survival, but admits Sunderland could cause them a problem.

"I’m going to put my head on the block now - if they win two games they stay up," he added. "I think with 36 points they will stay up. I’m not worried about Norwich; Sunderland frightens me.”

If Benitez does manage to keep Newcastle in the top flight, it would surely have to rank as one of the greatest escape acts in Premier League history.

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