Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson isn’t exactly a fan of Newcastle United but like other pundits, he has been impressed with the job Rafa Benitez has done at Newcastle this year.
Rafa has got the team playing out of their skins – they are well organized, disciplined, energetic, defensively solid and have a burning desire to win every game.
Yes – it looks like Newcastle is a Rafa Benitez team these days.
Everton fans don’t like the way Everton are playing under Sam Allardyce and there’s some discontent there.
Paul Merson – predicts Newcastle win
The Everton hierarchy have sent out a survey asking fans to rate Sam Allardyce’s performance this season and you know that’s not going to turn out well.
But Sam still saved them when he came in late November when they were in relegation trouble, five weeks after Ronald Koeman had been fired.
This is what Paul Merson has said to Sky Sports about the game:
“Newcastle are a funny team aren’t they – they’re flying!”
“Four in a row. They’ve gone to Leicester and beat Arsenal.”
“This is a dangerous game for Sam Allardyce.”
“The fans will be turning up expecting to win, Sam will be under pressure to win, and there’s not much between these two teams.”
“I’m going for Newcastle to beat Everton.”
“Sam will think sending out the survey to supporters is a joke, it’s embarrassing. He’s a former England manager.”
“If he didn’t say what he said he’s still the manager of England, now they’re sending out surveys.”
“I’d expect that when I was manager of Walsall, I wouldn’t expect Sam Allardyce to get that treatment.”
“I think they did it last year, but that isn’t the point. They have an England manager, someone who’s been in the game a million years – it’s disrespectful.”
“Sam won’t be happy but he’ll just bite his tongue.”
“You don’t want to go steaming in and resigning, especially when you could end up with four or five million”
Prediction – Everton 1 Newcastle 2.
Paul Merson is taking Newcastle to win this game and we’re not sure whether we should be happy or sad.
We will be very happy if Paul is right!