By support

7th Mar, 2017 | 1:29pm

Sky Sports pundit Prutton predicts Newcastle v Reading

By Will Butcher

David Prutton has predicted Newcastle to further consolidate their place at the top of the Championship with victory against Reading on Tuesday night.

Rafa Benitez’s side reaffirmed their place at the Championship’s summit with crucial wins against Huddersfield and Brighton last week, now sitting five points clear.

Retired midfielder Prutton believes they will maintain that form, by winning their sixth league game in eight outings against the Royals by one goal to nil.

Prutton, 35, told Sky Sports that he believes the Toon’s midfield partnership of Mohamed Diame and Jonjo Shelvey will prove key against Jaap Stam’s side after impressing on Saturday.

“Rafa’s team are very comfortable without the ball and allowing the opposition to dominate the ball,” Prutton said. “Diame and Shelvey interchange very well in the central position, which makes it hard for the opposition.

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“It’s games like this at this time of the season where champions win.”

Newcastle have been the Championship’s best side away from home this season, winning 13 of their 18 league games away from Tyneside and they will be hoping that continues.

Indeed, the Toon’s first win of the season was a 4-1 victory against Reading, in which striker Dwight Gayle scored twice and fans will be hoping of a repeat of that come Tuesday night.

A 25th league win of the season for the Magpies could see them being to steal march on automatic promotion rivals Brighton.

Already five points above Brighton after beating the Seagulls by two goals to one last week, a win could see them go eight points clear if Brighton fail to beat Rotherham.

In other Newcastle news, Alan Shearer has revealed this Arsenal ace was his toughest opponent.

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