Sam Allardyce, the Sunderland manager, thinks that it´s almost a forgone conclusion that Newcastle will win against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
No, it´s not because we got 5 points out of the last three games and held both Manchester City at home and Liverpool away after we were two goals behind.
Rafa Benitez and Sam Allardyce
It´s because he says the Crystal Palace players will have been celebrating their semi-final win against Watford and will not be in a good state mentally to be a challenge to the resurging Newcastle side.
This is what Sam has said:
“Newcastle will win on Saturday, I’d have a bet on that if I could,” “Newcastle pose the bigger threat than Norwich to our survival.”
“I think they’ll beat Palace and they’ve got Villa, then it depends on what Spurs do there. So I think they’ll win at least two. ”
“Palace are in the FA Cup final and they would all have been celebrating, they would all have been on the pop.”
“They won’t be mentally ready for it and neither will Alan [Pardew], because he’ll be thinking about the final now, not thinking about Newcastle away.”
“You’re not going to stop the lads celebrating having got through to a final, particularly Crystal Palace, because it’s such a good achievement for the club, the fans, Alan and the owner, there is such euphoria around the place.”
“It may well serve in reverse. He could say, ‘Off you go lads, go and play today and relax, the result doesn’t matter as much’ and they might win.”
“But it could go the other way, “Ooh, I’ve had a good couple of days off and I don’t want to get injured for the final, I might just stay out of that tackle,”
“Who knows? I suspect it might be the latter.”
Note that what Sam says has nothing to do with Newcastle possibly being the better team on Saturday, after we drew with two European semi-finalists in the last two league games after hammering Swansea 3-0.
Sam is getting a little worried, but it’s because Newcastle are starting to play very well under Rafa Benitez and he´s right – Newcastle are a bigger threat to Sunderland surviving the drop than are Norwich.
But Sunderland are still the favorites with the bookies to be the club that survives this season.
What do you think?