Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has blasted Newcastle’s expected approach in his prediction for the club’s clash against Manchester City.

The Magpies play host to the league leaders on the 27th December, and will be coming into the clash with renewed optimism after they put an end to their nine game winless run with victory over West Ham on Saturday, securing a 3-2 win away at the Hammers.

City meanwhile come into the clash in imperious form, having notched up 17 straight victories, the latest a 4-0 drubbing of Bournemouth which added to their unbeaten start to the season.

With Pep Guardiola’s men 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League table, and Newcastle just two points off the drop zone, Merson says he is expecting the north east side to be on the end of another thrashing from City, choosing to criticise the defensive approach which is expected to be implemented by manager Rafael Benitez.

Predicting a 4-0 win for City, he wrote on Sky Sports’ website: “Man City played in second gear and still beat Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday!

“They won 4-0 in second gear, so I am going to go for another 4-0 win. I think City will just rip them apart and Newcastle have had their result (beating West Ham).

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“The problem is that Newcastle will sit 10 men behind the ball, but you are going to get broken down though before the end of the game.

“And City are just relentless, relentless, but it is no disrespect to Newcastle, who had a massive football result at West Ham on Saturday, but City will beat better teams than Newcastle by more than 4-0.”

Newcastle’s last clash with Manchester City finished in a 1-1 draw at St James’ Park back in April 2016, Vurnon Anita cancelling out Sergio Aguero’s opener to secure a point for the Magpies.

In other Newcastle United news, Benitez has delivered a worrying triple blow after victory over the Hammers.

We’ve launched a << BREAKING NEWS FEED>> exclusively for your club. ‘Like Us’ on Facebook by clicking here if you want 24/7 updates on all Newcastle United breaking news.