Marco Silvestri believes that Newcastle United are a Premier League team in everything but name.

The Leeds United goalkeeper was giving an interview back in Italy to journalist Gianluca di Marzio, who works for Sky Sports in Italy as well as other media organisations.

Marco Silvestri was Leeds’ number one for the past two seasons after arriving from Serie A, where he was on the books of Cagliari and Chievo.

However, the arrival of Rob Green from QPR in the summer has seen him sent to the bench in the Championship.

However, Silvestri has been the Leeds hero in the League Cup and helped them through the last three rounds, including winning the penalty shoot out against Norwich to get them through to the quarter-finals.

Talking about their draw against Liverpool, the Leeds keeper made the comment about Newcastle already being a Premier League team, in the context of with the other six teams they could have drawn already in the top division, there was no easy tie for Leeds in the last eight.

Newcastle visit Leeds of course after this latest international break, with the game set to be Leeds United’s first league sell-out since 2010, already there have been over 32,000 tickets sold and only another six thousand to be sold to reach capacity.

Leeds are on a decent run and only a point off the play-offs, though already 11 behind Newcastle in top place.

Marco Silvestri speaking to Gianluca Di Marzio:

“I think the goal (for Leeds) is just to aim for the play-offs.

“As for the cup though, that has now become very difficult because there are only two teams (in the last eight of the League Cup) from the Championship, Leeds and Newcastle

“However, (Rafa) Benitez’s team are (currently) first (in the Championship), and already a Premier League team, in my opinion.

“It will be difficult for us to go through (against Liverpool) but you never know in football.”