Paul Merson has shocked Newcastle United fans.

The ‘expert’ pundit says that Newcastle’s defence is ‘atrocious’ but that the players ‘have to put everything on the line’ against Swansea and for Merson ‘that will be enough.

Paul Merson predicts a 2-1 win for Newcastle despite them having the worst record of any Premier League club since Christmas, whilst Swansea have seen a major revival since appointing a new manager – reaching 40 points and almost certain safety after beating Chelsea last weekend.

Paul Merson speaking to Sky Sports:

“No matter what the result is in the early kick-off between Norwich and Sunderland, Newcastle have to win. A Norwich win and a Newcastle defeat will near enough see Rafael Benitez’s side down.

“If you have watched Newcastle recently, defensively they have been atrocious. However, I’m backing Newcastle to win.

“They have to put everything on the line on Saturday and for me, that will be enough.”

When Newcastle kick-off at 3pm on Saturday, they will already know the outcome of Norwich v Sunderland which kicks off at 12.45 on Saturday lunchtime.

Paul Merson predicts a 1-1 draw which if combined with a win for Newcastle, would see United four points behind Norwich and level on points with the Mackems.

Paul Merson:

“Norwich have to make sure they don’t lose this game. As long as they don’t get beat Alex Neil will be happy, but if they win I think Newcastle are pretty much down. It’s as simple as that!

“For Sunderland it’s a cup final and they have to win it.

“I’m going for a draw here because Sunderland have been playing well recently. They’ve not had much luck in my opinion and that’s why the results haven’t quite gone their way.”