Looking ahead to Wednesday night’s class of the two relegated teams, Ian Holloway believes that if anybody finishes above both Newcastle and Norwich, it would equal certain promotion.

Repeating what we all know, the Sky Sports pundit says that Newcastle should have had the Villa match wrapped up long before they succumbed to that late equaliser.

Only one defeat for Norwich so far and top place in the table but Ian Holloway believes that ‘Newcastle can beat anyone on their day’.

Rafa Benitez had got his team on a right roll but defeat at home to Wolves saw that come to an end, the performance at Villa should have equalled three points but at least the way the team played for over an hour showed that the home defeat hadn’t really knocked them off their stride.

Ian Holloway has gone for Newcastle to win 2-1, a result that would put NUFC just a point behind Norwich, with one more set of games to play at the weekend before yet another international break.

As for Aston Villa, Holloway thinks that Newcastle allowing them back into Saturday’s match may have helped them turn the corner, he predicts a 1-0 win at Barnsley for Roberto di Matteo’s team, which would make it four wins in their last 47 league matches.

Ian Holloway talking to Sky Sports:

“These are two of the best teams in the Championship.

“Norwich are on a roll and Newcastle can beat anyone on their day, if anyone finishes above both of them I think they’ll be automatically promoted.

“Norwich played really well on the weekend and could have won by more, while Newcastle should have put Villa to bed but missed a few chances.

“Norwich will relish the challenge now they’re top but I think Newcastle will edge it at home.

“Aston Villa may have turned the corner with that second-half equaliser against Newcastle on Saturday, where they finished the game on top.

“If Newcastle had got another goal they (Villa) would have been struggling, but the crowd came together, they seemed to lift each other and Roberto Di Matteo’s side were impressive in that second half.”