By Amir Mir

Ian Holloway believes Newcastle will be in for a shock on Saturday afternoon, as he backed Brentford to pick up all three points at St James’ Park.

Sky Sports pundit Holloway has predicted Dean Smith’s men to inflict a third home defeat of the season on Rafa Benitez’ side by picking up a 1-0 victory.

The Magpies have lost two home league fixtures already this season against table toppers Huddersfield Town and Wolves.

Now, former promotion winning manager Holloway has backed the Bees to continue their surprising start to the season and keep a clean sheet in a tough away fixture.

“Dean Smith and the squad are proving me wrong. Good on them,” Holloway wrote in his Sky Sports column. “Newcastle look like a team that are enjoying the challenge the Championship brings.

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“The rest of the division needs to watch out as this team could go on a huge winning run at any stage of the season.

“However, Brentford look confident and Newcastle’s home form has been a bit up and down.

“Brentford have only shipped nine goals this season, which makes me think they may have enough to stifle Rafa Benitez’ men. This is my shock of the weekend. Scott Hogan to net the winner.”

The north east club have not lost a league game since the 2-1 home defeat to Wolves on September 17.

Benitez’ side have picked up two wins in their last three games, and scored two goals in stoppage time to pick up a remarkable 4-3 victory against promotion rivals Norwich.

Newcastle are third in the league with 22 points from 11 games, while Dean Smith has guided Brentford to seventh place with 18 points, two points off a play-off place.

In other Newcastle team news, manager Rafa Benitez has achieved this one difficult thing at the Championship club, according to a Sky Sports pundit.