Alan Shearer makes a prediction about Newcastle and Sunderland's fortunes this season

Former Blackburn Rovers player Alan Shearer introduced to the crowd ahead of the game

Alan Shearer is backing Newcastle United to replace Sunderland in the Premier League.

Former Blackburn Rovers player Alan Shearer introduced to the crowd ahead of the gameAlan Shearer

Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer has told BBC Sport's Premier League Show that he thinks the Magpies will swap positions with rivals Sunderland at the end of the season.

Shearer's former club Newcastle were relegated at the end of last season as Sunderland stayed in the Premier League – and Rafael Benitez has overseen a stunning start to the Championship season.

Sunday's 2-0 win over Leeds United means Newcastle have now won eight league games in a row, and are already five points clear at the top of the Championship table.

The Magpies haven't lost a league game since the 17th of September, Benitez is closing in on Kevin Keegan's record of 13 consecutive league wins, and Newcastle are even set for an EFL Cup quarter-final tie with Hull City next week.

Dwight Gayle celebrates after he scored Newcastle United's first goalDwight Gayle celebrates with his Newcastle team-mates

It's all going well for Newcastle right now, but it's certainly not going well for rivals Sunderland, who have endured a difficult start to the season.

David Moyes arrived as manager in late July following Sam Allardyce's exit, and picked up a dismal two points in their first ten league games, before two wins in a row – over Bournemouth and Hull City – gave the Black Cats a major boost.

Sunderland still lie in the bottom three, with many still tipping them to be relegated despite picking up two wins in a row – and pundit Alan Shearer has now offered his verdict on both Newcastle and Sunderland.

Sunderland manager David Moyes looks dejectedSunderland manager David Moyes looks dejected

Speaking on the Premier League Show, Shearer suggested that Sunderland will go down, and Newcastle will take their place in the Premier League, but feels such a situation is a shame for players and fans, who would again be robbed of the Tyne-Wear derby.

"I think Sunderland will struggle," said Shearer. "They'll do well to get out of the position that they're in, and I do think that Newcastle might just swap places with them, which is a shame because for players and fans, they're great games, they're great occasions, but I fear for Sunderland," he added.

Do you agree with Shearer's predictions on Newcastle and Sunderland?

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