Paul Merson has given his verdict on Crystal Palace v Newcastle United this coming Saturday.

The Sky Sports pundit thinks things could get ‘silly’ if Newcastle play anything like they did against Leicester.

The former Arsenal player saying that United have to ‘dig in from the off, defend as a team’ if they are looking to take anything from the match.

Having watched Sunderland’s visit on Monday to Selhurst Park, Paul Merson though that on top of winning, the mackems actually looked ‘comfortable’ over the course of the 90 minutes.

With the revelations last night that Steve McClaren had clashed with senior players and accused some of not trying or caring enough, Merson says that he is looking for a ‘reaction’ from the Newcastle team after the Head Coach made clear what he thought of some of them.

In the final analysis, Paul Merson believes that it will be a 2-0 defeat for Newcastle, which would likely mean a return to the relegation zone, as Sunderland and Bournemouth would then overtake Newcastle if either of them took a point or more at home to Stoke and Everton respectively, this weekend.

Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:

“Newcastle would rather be playing Palace at Selhurst than at St James’, I think they can go and sit 10 behind the ball here.

“But with everything that is going on at the moment, a bust-up between some of the players and Steve McClaren, I want to see a reaction from the players on Saturday.

“If he has lost the players, they will get beat here easily. If he has lost them, he’s in a lot of trouble. In this day and age, the players always win.

“Sunderland went to Palace and did a job, I thought they were quite comfortable.

“Newcastle could do that but this is one of those predictions where I would like to tell you what the score will be, after seeing the first 10 minutes.

“If they (Newcastle) dig in from the off, defend as a team, they have a chance. But if they don’t, and play anything like they did against Leicester, this could be a silly score.”