Chris Waddle has predicted a bleak season for former clubs Newcastle and Sunderland as they attempt to drag themselves up the Premier League table.
The pair currently prop up the rest of the league with the Magpies having taken just three points from their opening seven fixtures and the Black Cats one fewer.
Steve McClaren’s men turned in a much better display to draw 2-2 with champions Chelsea last time out, but Waddle said: “It’s not easy, and the days have gone when they can spend and compete with the big clubs in the transfer market.
“They’re buying players for £10million, £12m, £13m, but to a lot of clubs that’s peanuts, let’s be honest. They work to a certain budget and you get a certain quality player.
“But if Steve McClaren can get them organised, if he can get the confidence in them, they’ve got a chance then possibly of getting up the league.”
If anything, Waddle fears Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland may be in greater trouble having conceded 16 goals in their first seven games.
He said: “They’ve got a problem with their defence. I mean, it’s not rocket science - you can see the back four has not gelled.
“They are conceding a lot of goals, too many goals - bad goals as well.
“Let’s be honest, he needs a couple of defenders if they’re going to get out of this.
“If you can sort the defence out, then they will have a chance, but at this minute, you’re going to say they’ll do very well to survive the Premier League this year.”
* Waddle will bring together a team of former international and Premier League stars, including ex-Sheffield Wednesday stars John Sheridan and David Hirst, as Men United take on a Hallam FC XI in support of Prostate Cancer UK at Hallam’s Sandygate stadium on Sunday, October 4 (2pm).
Match tickets are priced at £5 and people can by a ‘virtual ticket’ via www.justgiving.com/chriswaddlematch. Football fans can also pedal to Amsterdam for the charity from June 3-5, 2016 via prostatecanceruk.org/amsterdam, which includes a new Yorkshire to Amsterdam route starting at Barnsley FC.