writes that Newcastle legend Alan Shearer has spoke about the relegation battle, and believes that rivals Sunderland will escape the drop come the end of the season.

The Black Cats are four points from safety going into the end of January, and are in massive danger of being relegated to the Championship following many close calls in previous seasons, this year only tallying 19 points from 23 games, including two managerial changes in 2015.

The former Geordie striker, however, believes that Sam Allardyce’s influence will be the reason the Wearsiders live yet another year in the top-flight:

The relegation battle is going down to the wire. Villa are showing signs of improvement but I still think it’s too late for them. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Sunderland avoided relegation. If Big Sam can’t pull off a great escape, I don’t think anyone can.

Sam Allardyce is a specialist in saving clubs for the disastrous drop, one of the main circumstances being saving Premier League newcomers Bolton Wanderers in the 2002/03 season, yet you can’t help but feel it’s too little too late for the Mackems, who now have a tough run ahead of them, facing Manchester City, Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham United in the run-up to securing survival.

It’s fair to say that Allardyce will have to work some magic in the last few days of the transfer window in order for Shearer’s predictions to come true.