David Prutton has predicted another positive weekend for Newcastle United.

The pressure was on a week ago as Brighton threatened to pull clear and the chasing pack edge closer to the Magpies.

However, defeats for Reading, Huddersfield and Brighton, combined with the hard fought victory at Brentford, transformed the picture for Rafa Benitez and his team.

This weekend provides potentially a massive chance to build on last week’s results, with another set of fixtures that could test other clubs in the top six.

David Prutton believes that Rotherham’s home win against Norwich a week ago suggests there is ‘maybe life in Rotherham yet’ but that the Jonjo Shelvey factor will make the difference for Newcastle.

When it is top (at SJP) against bottom then it should be a home banker anyway but this league does have a habit of throwing up strange results.

As Prutton points out, Newcastle haven’t looked the same team without the playmaker and only two wins during his five game suspension sums that up.

Wednesday night saw Shelvey stroll through at a completely different level to Birmingham and we hope for more of the same on Saturday afternoon.

David Prutton goes for a narrow 2-1 win to Newcastle and if the other results he has predicted (see below) also come through, Newcastle can go three points clear of Brighton and stretch further away from the likes of Sheffield Wednesday and Reading.

David Prutton speaking to Sky Sports:

“After a wonderful result against Norwich, which gives them some semblance of hope, and the way they seem to be consistently producing the right type of performances, if not results, suggests there maybe life in Rotherham yet with regards to their Championship status.

“But I just think that Newcastle, who have got Jonjo Shelvey back – they have missed him dearly. You get the feeling he will have the bit between his teeth and will have a point to prove and I think Rotherham will be the first team to get a taste of that.”

Prutton’s other predictions this weekend (Brighton play Friday night):

Brighton 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2

Barnsley 1 Leeds 2

Derby 2 Reading 2

Huddersfield 2 Ipswich 1

This is how the Championship table would look with these results above (Brighton and Reading have played one game less than their rivals:

58 Newcastle United

55 Brighton

51 Leeds

49 Huddersfield

47 Reading

46 Sheffield Wednesday