Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Newcastle United
Venue: The Stadium of Light – Sunday, April 5th – 16:00 BST (11:00 ET)
Match Odds: Sunderland 7/5 – Draw 11/5 – Newcastle United 2/1
The Black Cats desperately need to pick up points now as they want to avoid the possibility of being dragged into the bottom three of the Premier League. Their fight for survival can take a huge step in the right direction if they can win this one as they are just one point above the drop with eight games to play.Embed from Getty Images
The Toon Army haven’t lived up to expectations this season and look like they’re going to end mid-table. They might not have too much to play for in the league but will want a strong run in to attract players this summer to rebuild for next campaign, starting with a victory over their bitter rivals.
Sunderland are without a win in seven league games and have registered just one win in their last 13 so something is going to need to change if the Black Cats are to pick up all three points.
A win in this one will lift spirits sky high but given their recent run of form, the chances of that happening look slim for Dick Advocaat’s men.
Newcastle’s form hasn’t been an awful lot better, winning just one of their last seven league games and losing their last three on the bounce as John Carver is struggling to get his players to perform to full potential.Embed from Getty Images
Sunderland haven’t lost this fixture since 2011, winning four of the last six meetings and will be hoping they can continue that unbeaten record in the derby come Sunday evening.
Newcastle will be itching to put that run to an end at the Stadium of Light and their ever-optimistic fans will feel this is a good opportunity to heap some more misery on their struggling rivals.
Sunderland have four injury concerns to deal with. Wes Brown, Ricardo Alvarez, Will Buckley (all knee) and Emanuele Giaccherini (ankle) are set to miss out. The Black Cats will be hoping Jermaine Defoe can give them something to cheer about in attack, while Adam Johnson is in line to start after coming off the bench against West Ham last time out.
Newcastle have nine key players missing for this tie through injury and two suspensions. Papiss Cisse and Fabricio Coloccini are both serving bans. Cheik Tiote (knee), Steven Taylor (calf), Rolando Aarons (thigh), Paul Dummett and Massadio Haidara (both knee) are all sidelined. John Carver’s options are so limited, but we can expect Mike Williamson and Daryl Janmaat to be paired at centre-back, with Jack Colback likely to start at left-back.
Sunderland’s last five: D/L/D/L/L
Newcastle United’s last five: L/W/L/L/L
Key Stat: Newcastle haven’t won this fixture since 2011 and need to put that run to an end.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Jack Colback – The ex-Sunderland man will be returning to the Stadium of Light for the first time since leaving on a free transfer to his boyhood club Newcastle. He famously scored for Sunderland against the Magpies in last season’s fixture and could play a vital role and write himself into Newcastle folklore in this one.
Sunderland 1-2 Newcastle – The Toon Army will put that winless run in this fixture to bed in a typically heated tie against their struggling rivals to pile the misery on Dick Advocaat and his Black Cats.