Thu 29 Feb 2024, 15:59 · Ash Harrison

'Just nick it': Paul Merson predicts Newcastle v Wolves will be a close game but he has picked a winner

'Just nick it': Paul Merson predicts Newcastle v Wolves will be a close game but he has picked a winner
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Newcastle United come up against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday in a rare 3pm kick-off at St James' Park.

Wolves sit one point and one position above Newcastle in the Premier League but a win for the Magpies could see them jump from 10th to seventh provided Manchester City see off their local rivals Manchester United, if Everton can stave off West Ham and if Fulham beat Brighton. It might be a bit much to ask.

Gary O'Neil has done a fantastic job of steadying the ship at Wolves guiding them away from danger and into the top half of the league as well as the quarter-finals of the FA Cup along with Newcastle.

Paul Merson is expecting plenty of goals

It's therefore far from a foregone conclusion as to who will win this game and with the two sides prone to sharing the points in this fixture over the years, we expect it will be a tight game.

Callum wilson scores against wolves
Getty Images
Callum Wilson got the scoring underway in the 2-2 draw with Wolves earlier this season

Paul Merson has managed to choose a winner with his score prediction for Sportskeeda, but he's also predicting a close game, although he's also expecting there to be plenty of goals.

"Newcastle went to Arsenal and got absolutely battered as I predicted. They had a great result in the FA Cup in midweek but are set to play against Man City in the quarterfinal, so that's the end of their cup run, you could say.

"Wolves, on the other hand, are a very underrated football team and have been a good team to watch under Gary O'Neil. I think there will be goals in this one but I think Newcastle will just nick it at home. I'm only saying that because while Wolves are a good team, they are at their best when they aren't expected to win, which isn't necessarily the case here.

"The Magpies got into the top four last season and that came as a huge surprise. In terms of their performances in the current campaign, I'm not really shocked with their current predicament as they collectively overachieved last season, so everyone knew it would be impossible for them to keep that up. We shouldn't judge them based on that as we all knew that wasn't going to happen again!

"Prediction: Newcastle United 3-2 Wolves"

A win is a win even if we make hard work of it

As frustrating as it has been to watch Newcastle lately, and it bloody well has, I'd take us struggling to a 3-2 win right now.

Last season it was so much fun watching us go at teams and pull them apart, but that has rarely been the case this season. Lately, it has been downright painful watching us scrap about just to get a foothold in the game and then ultimately come away with nothing, or a point at best.

If we put in another one of those performances on Saturday but come away with three points we'll consider that progress. I'll endure that slog of watching a poor team if the payoff is three points.