Paul Merson thinks that after this weekend the Magpies will be out of the relegation zone.

United currently sit a point behind both Norwich and Sunderland with all three teams playing on Saturday, though Norwich’s trip to Arsenal is the 5,30pm game live on TV.

Paul Merson believes that Newcastle will beat Palace because United have got ‘too much to play for’.

If the Newcastle players aren’t up for this game then they never will be, the return of Alan Pardew being the cherry on the cake in terms of ensuring the atmosphere is rocking from the first minute.

Paul Merson thinks just so long as Newcastle are into the match from the off then it will be three points.

Going for a 2-1 home win prediction Paul Merson told Sky Sports:

“I have got to go for Newcastle, they have got too much to play for.

“Palace have just had a hard game at Wembley and are in the final of the FA Cup, whereas Newcastle are fighting for their lives.

“If Newcastle can just start well I think they’ll win the game. I’m going for a massive three points for Newcastle.”

As for Newcastle’s relegation rivals, Merson sees only a home win for Arsenal against Norwich, predicting a 3-0 victory for the Gunners who still need points to ensure Champions League football next season.

As for Sunderland, Paul Merson thinks that Stoke’s poor recent form has given the Mackems ‘a real chance’, letting in four goals in each of their last three matches doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, especially when Sunderand have started to keep clean sheets.

However, Merson reckons that surely Stoke must pick themselves up and Mark Hughes get them playing again, the net result being ‘a bad result for Sunderland’ according to Paul Merson, though he still thinks they will pick up a point in a 1-1 draw.

Paul Merson:

“About four weeks ago this was a hard game for Sunderland. Now I look at it and think Sam Allardyce’s side have a real chance. Stoke have let in four goals three games on the trot, and have to be careful they’re not complacent.

“But they do have some players who can hurt you, whoever they’re playing. This is the hardest game to call because Sunderland are playing for their lives, but surely Stoke are going to get better. I think it will be a bad result for Sunderland.”

If Merson has called the results correctly that would give us:

17th Newcastle (Played 36) 33 points GD -25

18th Sunderland (Played 35) 32 points GD -18

19th Norwich (Played 35) 31 points GD -28