Newcastle United are currently one point behind Sunderland in the Premier League standings.
George Boateng has told Sky Sports News, which was broadcast on 10th May, that Newcastle United’s players lack the passion of Sunderland’s.
Newcastle look destined to slip into the Championship, after what has been a terrible season.
The Magpies had shown some signs of life recently, but their failure to win against Aston Villa was seriously damaging - as Sunderland came from behind to beat Chelsea.
Sunderland can now relegate their North East rivals on Wednesday evening, if they beat Everton.
And Boateng said: “Newcastle were doing okay. Yet, when people thought they were going to win easily, I did not see any of Newcastle’s players playing with the passion of a side in a relegation battle.
“I see that with Sunderland. Did you see Defoe’s celebration? It shows the passion that they have.”
Sunderland did brilliantly to come from behind to beat Chelsea in their most recent outing, in what was an electric atmosphere at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats have proven to be very difficult to beat over recent weeks, and it would now be a surprise if they are relegated.
Even if Sunderland fail to beat Everton in midweek, they will still relegate Newcastle if they are able to win against Watford on the final day of the season.
Newcastle, meanwhile, are likely to have to beat Tottenham Hotspur on the final day of the campaign to have any chance of surviving.