Jermaine Jenas gives his verdict on which two of Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich will be relegated

By North-east correspondent Harry Sykes

Jermaine Jenas has backed Sunderland to win the relegation battle against Newcastle and Norwich.

Two of the three Premier League clubs appear virtually certain to be eliminated from the top flight given their distance from the top 16.

Newcastle beat Swansea 3-0 on Saturday to secure the first win in Rafael Benitez’s five matches in charge and keep alive hopes of retaining their Premier League status.

Sunderland also won 3-0, at Norwich in the early Saturday kick-off, in what was a dramatic twist to the relegation battle.

Saturday’s results mean Newcastle have 28 points, Sunderland 30 points and Norwich 31 points, although the North-east pair both have a match in hand on Alex Neil’s team.

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Asked on the BBC Match of the Day programme on Saturday night which of the trio will stay up, ex-Newcastle midfielder Jenas said: “I think the Jermain Defoe effect will keep Sunderland up. That was Newcastle’s second clean sheet in 18 games, [although] if they can keep keeping clean sheets, who knows?”

In other Newcastle news, club legend Alan Shearer has given his verdict on Twitter of the results of the Newcastle and Sunderland games.

In other Newcastle news, the club have reportedly made a major decision about a first-team regular.