Paul Merson reveals what would be 'brilliant' for Newcastle in prediction v Burnley
By Russell Edge
Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has said it would be “brilliant” to see Newcastle United in a position in which they can compete for the FA Cup come January.
In recent years the Magpies have disregarded the cup competitions in favour of league fixtures, which has seen youngsters promoted to the first team in numerous changes to the starting XI.
They have failed to make it past the fourth round of the competition since 2007 and saw themselves fall to a shock 3-0 defeat to League one side Oxford City.
However Merson is hoping that changes this season after a bright start to their Premier League campaign, something which he admits he did not see coming ahead of their away clash at Burnley on Monday.
Predicting a 2-1 win for the Magpies, the first time he has forecast a win for the club during the current campaign, he told Sky Sports on their website: “They are punching well above their weight – if they finish sixth Rafa Benitez will be manager of the season.
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“Burnley’s home form has been a little shaky and Newcastle are on a roll.
“The name of the game remains safety and hopefully for Newcastle fans their club will be in a position in January to have a real go in the FA Cup. That would be brilliant.”
Newcastle currently sit seventh in the top flight standings, just one place and one point ahead of their opposition on Monday, having picked up four wins so far this season.
They are the best performing newly promoted side, with Huddersfield and Brighton and in 11th and 12th place respectively, and are sitting above established sides such as Liverpool, Leicester and West Ham prior to the weekend’s fixtures.
In other Newcastle United news, the club are lining up a move for a midfield maestro which would break their transfer record.