Paul Merson predicts Newcastle v Southampton – Claims £5.7m is the motivation
Paul Merson has been previewing Newcastle v Southampton.
On Saturday late afternoon it is the battle of 15th in the table against 16th.
Paul Merson declares ‘Both clubs are safe’ and ‘nobody is under pressure’ when the two teams take to the pitch tomorrow.
However, I’m not sure Southampton will quite see it that way.
Despite winning three of their last four games, the fact remains that is everything went wrong for them this weekend, the Saints could find themselves only two points above the relegation zone.
It is unlikely but it is possible and the end of season games tend to throw up plenty of surprises, teams such as Cardiff fighting for their lives.
Look at West Brom last season. After only one win in their previous 31 Premier League games, with five games to go the Baggies then won at Old Trafford, drew against Liverpool, came and beat Newcastle at St James Park and beat Tottenham.
Cardiff are home to Liverpool on Sunday and anybody who thinks that is a foregone conclusion is mistaken.
As for Newcastle, the worst case scenario would see them only four points off the relegation zone. That wouldn’t be panic stations for Rafa Benitez but he would far rather get the job finished off on Saturday.
It was five home wins in a row with 12 goals scored before Palace went away with three points after scoring with their only shot on target. Whilst Southampton have 11 goals and four wins in their last six (home and away) games, so you can see where Paul Merson has got his 2-2 prediction from.
However, Newcastle have only one draw at home all season and that was the goalless/joyless one against Fulham in December
Paul Merson comes up with another angle as motivation for winning: ‘…there is still plenty to play for in terms of money for the club – moving up three positions can bring in millions of pounds. Winning this game can really help for that push.’
Each club banks an extra £1.9m for every league placing so Paul Merson is talking about a total of £5.7m for three places up (or down) the league.
Merson may have a small point as this could be seen as extra motivation for the Newcastle players, as the bonus scheme the NUFC squad have, sees an extra £1m shared between the squad for every extra place up the league. So three places would equal another £3m to be pocketed.
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“Both teams are safe and there should be goals.
“Nobody is under pressure, they are both safe.
“Why not go out and express yourselves?
“The problem is there is still plenty to play for in terms of money for the club – moving up three positions can bring in millions of pounds.
“Winning this game can really help for that push.
“The players though, will not feel that pressure.
“Prediction is Newcastle 2 Southampton 2.”
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