By Amir Mir

Ian Holloway has backed Newcastle to beat Norwich 2-1 in a match-up that pits “two of the best teams in the Championship” against one another.

Sky Sports pundit Holloway has predicted Rafa Benitez’ men to edge Alex Neil’s side in a close encounter at St James’ Park on Wednesday night.

Norwich were victorious in their previous league encounter beating Burton Albion 3-1, while Newcastle drew 1-1 with Aston Villa on Saturday evening.

Ex-Premier League boss Holloway praised both sides for the quality they can possess, but backed the Magpies to perform in front of their own crowd.

“These are two of the best teams in the Championship,” Holloway wrote in his Sky Sports column. “Norwich are on a roll and Newcastle can beat anyone on their day, if anyone finishes above both of them I think they’ll be automatically promoted.

“Norwich played really well on the weekend and could have won by more, while Newcastle should have put Villa to bed but missed a few chances.  Norwich will relish the challenge now they’re top but I think Newcastle will edge it at home.”

The Canaries travel to the north east at the top of the Championship table with 20 points from their opening nine games, while their opponents sit in sixth with 16 points.

Both sides were relegated from the Premier League last season, as they now aim for instant promotion back to the Premier League.

In other Newcastle team news, three things we learned from Aston Villa’s draw with the Toon.