Sky Sports pundit David Prutton predicts it will be another disappointing weekend for Newcastle United.

The former Forest player thinks the absence of Jonjo Shelvey will ensure Newcastle fail to win for the fourth time in five matches.

Ahead of the Brentford v Newcastle clash, David Prutton rather dramatically declares that the Magpies are yet to win in 2017.

The fact is that 2017 only consists so far of a bizarre 1-0 defeat at Blackburn after dominating the game, plus the 1-1 draw at Birmingham in the FA Cup when Rafa Benitez made eight changes to his team.

He may well be right that Saturday will be a tough game for Newcastle but it definitely wont be as tough as it could be, if Scott Hogan signs for West Ham before then – Brentford having had three reported offers so far, for their star man.

It is for the Newcastle players to prove David Prutton wrong, when he asserts that Shelvey is ‘absolutely imperative’ to the way Newcastle perform.

The perfect chance for the likes of Gayle, Ritchie and others to prove that this is no excuse for failing to play well and win in this division.

Prutton predicts a 1-1 draw for Newcastle and a win for Brighton at Preston, a pair of results that would/could put the south coast team four points ahead of United and with a game in hand.

David Prutton speaking to Sky Sports:

“Newcastle are missing Jonjo Shelvey. He sets the tempo, direction and tempo of their play.

“Shelvey brings the best out of Matt Ritchie and Dwight Gayle. He’s absolutely imperative to the way they play.

“They’ve yet to win in 2017 and that may continue here.

“This is will be a tough game at Griffin Park for Rafa Benitez’s boys.

“Brentford are a young team, who on their day, can give anybody a game.”