By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Managing Editor
Newcastle travel to local rivals Sunderland on Sunday in the Barclays Premier League to contest the Tyne-Wear derby (1.30pm kick-off).
The sides go into the fixture at the Stadium of Light in contrasting form, with the Black Cats currently bottom of the top flight with just a single point to their name. Currently, their only victories of the campaign have come in the Capital One Cup, and this match is new boss Gus Poyet's first home game in charge.
Newcastle, however, are comfortably in midtable thanks to an impressive 2-2 draw with Liverpool last weekend, which came on the back of victory away at Cardiff.
When the sides met last season, the Wearsiders took the bragging rights. After a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light just over a year ago, Sunderland ran out 3-0 winners on Tyneside back in April.
Sunday's match is the 137th Tyne-Wear league derby and the 149th match in total between the two sides. In the Premier League era, United have won nine of the contests, while nine have been drawn and Sunderland have won four, with only one of those coming on Wearside (2008/09).
Newcastle's allocation for this match has sold out.
April 14th, 2013 - Newcastle United 0 Sunderland 3 (Sessegnon 28, Johnson 74, Vaughan 82)
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul (Rob Elliot 57); Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Jonas Gutierrez; Cheick Tiote, Yohan Cabaye (Hatem Ben Arfa 63); Sylvain Marveaux, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran (Shola Ameobi 46); Papiss Cisse
Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Simon Mignolet; Phil Bardsley (Jack Colback 54), Carlos Cuellar (Kader Mangane 71), John O'Shea, Danny Rose; Alfred N'Diaye, Sebastian Larsson; Adam Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon, James McClean (David Vaughan 65); Danny Graham
FULL RECORD v SUNDERLAND
P148 W53 D48 L47 F221 A217
(Last six games - all competitions)
Sunderland - LLLWLL
Newcastle - DWLWLW
Sunderland - Emanuele Giaccherini, Craig Gardner (2)
Newcastle - Loic Remy (5)
Sunderland (v Swansea, Premier League): Kieren Westwood; Ondrej Celustka, John O'Shea, Valentin Roberge, Phil Bardsley; Craig Gardner, Lee Cattermole; Sebastian Larsson, Emanuele Giaccherini (Jack Colback 61), Adam Johnson (Fabio Borini 61); Steven Fletcher (Jozy Altidore 82)
Not used: Vito Mannone, Andrea Dossena, Carlos Cuellar, David Vaughan
Newcastle (v Liverpool, Premier League): Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Mike Williamson, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Davide Santon; Yohan Cabaye (Vurnon Anita 78), Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko (Paul Dummett 45); Yoan Gouffran, Hatem Ben Arfa (Sammy Ameobi 78), Loic Remy
Not used: Rob Elliot, Gabriel Obertan, Papiss Cisse, Shola Ameobi
Sunderland - The Black Cats could welcome back fit-again centre-back Wes Brown, whose last appearance came in January 2012.
Newcastle - Defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will miss out as he serves a one-game ban for his straight red card against Liverpool last weekend. However, fellow centre-backs Fabricio Coloccini (groin) and Steven Taylor (hamstring) are "touch and go" to return, according to manager Alan Pardew. United will once again be without Argentine midfielder Jonas Gutierrez (personal reasons), while Ryan Taylor is in America having undergone a knee operation.
A WORD FROM BOTH CAMPS
Gus Poyet, Sunderland manager: "The Swansea result was not easy to take and we had a couple of difficult days but now it looks more promising. It is a derby. We need a win and we need three points. We are desperate to do well against Newcastle and if we could beat them, then that would be perfect."
Alan Pardew, Newcastle manager: "There's always something on every game but in this game, a little bit more. Firstly it's a derby and secondly, the last result. The team need to reflect that. We're off the back of a performance against Sunderland that wasn't acceptable by our own standards, let alone anyone else's, so there's that to factor in to our psychological levels."
Lee Probert (Wiltshire): 2013/14 record - 8 games, 12 yellow cards, 1 red card
PLAYED FOR BOTH TEAMS
Stan Anderson, Paul Bracewell, Michael Bridges, Steven Caldwell, Michael Chopra, Lee Clark, Jeff Clarke, Robbie Elliott, Howard Gayle, Tommy Gibb, Shay Given, Ron Guthrie, Mick Harford, David Kelly, Bob Moncur, Bryan 'Pop' Robson, Danny Simpson, Colin Suggett, Barry Venison, Chris Waddle, David Young
FANCY A FLUTTER?
To find the best odds for Sunday's match, thanks to our Official Betting Partner 138.com, click here.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sunderland have conceded 75 per cent of their goals this season in the second half of matches.