Sky Sports pundits Phil Thompson, Paul Merson, Matt Le Tissier and Charlie Nicholas have made their predictions for the three sides they expected to be relegation from the Premier League this season – with two of the four expecting NUFC to do gown.
With eight defeats in our last 9, we currently sit in the bottom three. Relegation is a real possibility, with the pundits seeming to feel that January investment is essential to keep us up.
Here’s their predictions, including any snippets on what they had to say about Newcastle’s chances of survival on Sky Sports:
Paul Merson – SWANSEA, HUDDERSFIELD, WEST BROM
“I would be worried about Newcastle’s form more than anybody’s at the moment. They are on a terrible run, but their situation might change if they have investment from new owners in January.
“Football changes. Who would have said seven weeks ago that Newcastle would be where they are now? If you can get results like West Ham have got recently you would think they will get away from it. Palace will get out of it, they are scoring too many goals.
“Will teams see Sam Allardyce’s impact at Everton and think about change? Big Sam is different to anybody else. You go with him and it’s completely different. He can do that at any club, nobody else could. Paul Clement is a manager and a very good coach as well. That’s what they need. You don’t need just a manager, you need someone to coach the players like he does.
“You have to be careful with Swansea. They have a style of playing which they have developed under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup. I hope they don’t change and think ‘we have to lump the ball forward to get out of trouble’.”
Matt Le Tissier – SWANSEA, HUDDERSFIELD, NEWCASTLE
“There are 10 teams in the relegation battle and I include Southampton in that. Anyone outside of the top half is looking over their shoulders.
“My first tip would be Swansea. I’ve not seen enough from them to suggest they can stay up and their horrific run of eight losses in 10, even though one was in the cup, is troubling to say the least.
“Yes Huddersfield are on the same points as Southampton at the moment but I feel they will just run out of steam. It is difficult to maintain that early-season enthusiasm when you’re losing heavily on a regular basis, although they did beat Manchester United and push Manchester City hard.
“My third side are Newcastle, but that is based on the squad they have at the moment. If they get some investment in January and can get a new goalkeeper, somebody who is more of a threat than Joselu and maybe a centre-back then that would change.”
Phil Thompson – SWANSEA, HUDDERSFIELD, BRIGHTON
“Things change from month to month and we get asked these questions and managers get the hump, but it should drive them on. You look at Spurs and two weeks ago everyone was writing them off and now they’re back in the top four.
“Swansea have been poor and they don’t look as though their forward men are going to give them anything to hold on to.
“As the season pans out Huddersfield will come into the equation and I would also think Brighton will get drawn into it because they lack the strength. They’ve got a lot of numbers but they don’t have it in the same quality in numbers as other sides, and you worry their energy levels will drain.
“I think Palace and West Ham are on an upward trend so you would assume they will be safe. Newcastle have dropped like a stone, but you imagine they will be okay with Rafael Benitez’s experience.”
Charlie Nicholas – SWANSEA, HUDDERSFIELD, NEWCASTLE
“This is tougher than trying to pick the top four right now, or should I say ‘three, plus Manchester City’. From Southampton in 11th to Swansea in 20th they are all in the mix.
“Palace are improving, working until the final whistle, and they would be sat closer to mid-table had they got another win last Saturday.
“Huddersfield’s goal difference concerns me and Brighton have the same problem, but I’m leaning toward the Terriers to face the drop because Chris Hughton has the experience of a relegation battle.
“I think Swansea are going down despite watching them win last week, and if Newcastle don’t get this takeover done and get Benitez some funds in January they are going down because of their lack of goals. We could suggest there’s a few clubs in that bracket, but I do expect West Ham and West Brom to improve.”
One theme is that EVERYONE has gone for Swansea and Huddersfield to go down, however the Terrier’s 4-1 win at Watford over the weekend may have made them think twice. Aside from ourselves (tipped by Nicholas and Le Tissier), there’s West Brom and Brighton tipped to face the drop.
No one went for Palace, West Ham, Stoke, or Southampton.
Let us know your thoughts folks. Which three sides do you expect to see in the bottom three come the end of the season?