Rio Ferdinand has picked the three sides he feels are facing Premier League relegation this season – and reckons the battle for safety will come down to five clubs.
With the Premier League now enjoying its winter break, there is a moment to pause for clubs to reflect on their season so far. And while the transfer window remains open until Monday, for most players it is a time to reset their batteries. It’s been another season full of twists and turns, though Manchester City’s lead at the summit appears to have killed the title race.
The battle to reach the top four looks much more close, however. To that end, Jamie Redknapp has named who he thinks will join City, Liverpool and Chelsea in the Champions League next season.
At the other end, the battle to stay in the Premier League remains equally as intense. As things stand, Newcastle, Watford and Burnley make up the bottom three. Norwich are also in the mix, just a point better off, with Everton four points clear in 16th.
However, Ferdinand reckons the Toffees – currently searching for a new manager – will have enough to survive.
He also thinks Newcastle, who have vast riches to spend, will also pull clear. Their dogged 1-0 win at Leeds on Saturday may prove the catalyst.
That will leave, in Ferdinand’s opinion, Norwich, Burnley and Watford all facing Premier League relegation.
“I think Newcastle will stay up and then do big business in the summer. I think they’ll go big in the summer,’ Ferdinand said on the Vibe with Five YouTube channel.
“They seem to be doing it [their transfer business] more meticulous and strategic and less gung-ho than other teams who have had money straight away.
Norwich’s momentum killer
“Before Norwich went on this run they’re on at the moment I had them as certainties to go down. They’ve come out of nowhere but this break has killed their momentum.
Newcastle target Germany left back Robin Gosens
Germany left back Robin Gosens will be sold by Atalanta to Newcastle for the right price as Atalanta want to cash in
“I think the bottom-five are cut adrift. I’m going with Burnley, Watford and I think Norwich will get dragged back into it too.
“If this break hadn’t of happened I would give them a chance, but I think the break will ruin their momentum.
“I think Newcastle get out of it. I think they add one or two players [during the rest of the January transfer window] who will make an impact.”
Newcastle looking for more signings
With just six days left, Eddie Howe will be hoping to add more quality to his Newcastle ranks.
The Magpies continue to be linked with a plethora of names, having added Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier so far.
Next on their agenda appears to be a new left-back.
However, reports linking them with Bayer Leverkusen left-back Mitchel Bakker appear to have broken down.
The Netherlands under-21 international only joined Leverkusen in the summer. So far, he has provided one goal and four assists from 16 games for the Bundesliga side.
However, Newcastle’s new owners have the financial power to tempt them into a quick profit.
Therefore, the Telegraph reported over the weekend that the basics of a deal were done with the Bundesliga side.
They are now claiming, though, that the transfer is off the table. Their update is unambiguous; they claim to have been updated by a source that Bakker’s touted move will “definitely not happen”.