In a standout FA Cup third round fixture, Newcastle United will face Sunderland for the first time in seven years at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The fortunes of the two clubs have been very difficult in recent years, with the Magpies challenging for Champions League football while the Black Cats even struggling to gain Premier League promotion. But both teams know they cannot afford to lose the Tyne-Wear derby because of the huge rivalry between the two sides.
Sunderland dismissed Tony Mowbray as manager last month after a run of one win from five games.
They have installed former Rangers boss Michael Beale as their new head coach and he has done an impressive job so far.
The Blacks have picked up seven points from their previous three matches, and they are now sitting sixth in the Championship table.
The hosts got themselves into a good position after Alex Pritchard delivered them an early breakthrough.
Nazariy Rusyn doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time as Michael Beale’s men sealed full points from the home encounter.
On the other hand, Newcastle United have been enduring a miserable run of form in the English top-flight.
They most recently suffered a disappointing 4-2 defeat to Liverpool, with the result dropping them to ninth in the Premier League table.
They most recently fell to a disappointing 4-2 loss against Liverpool, with the result dropping them to ninth in the Premier League table.
Mohamed Salah was in top form at Anfield as he broke the deadlock in the 49th minute before adding another from the spot late in the contest.
Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo were also on target for the hosts, and though Newcastle reduced the arrears through Alexander Isak and Sven Botman, they ultimately lost comfortably.
Sunderland have a few injury woes this weekend, with Niall Huggins, Corry Evans and Jay Matete all sidelined for Saturday’s game. Patrick Roberts missed the Black Cats’ win over Preston and there are doubts about his availability for the derby.
As for Newcastle United, Joe Willock, Jacob Murphy, Nick Pope, Harvey Barnes, Javi Manquillo and Matt Targett will all be absent due to fitness issues.
Sunderland vs Newcastle United potential line-ups
Sunderland: Bishop; Hume, Ballard, O’Nien, Alese; Ekwah, Neil; Pritchard, Bellingham, Clarke; Rusyn
Newcastle United: Karius; Livramento, Schar, Lascelles, Hall; Miley, Guimaraes, Longstaff; Ritchie, Isak, Gordon
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Sunderland vs Newcastle United prediction
This is probably the worst time for Newcastle to be facing their biggest rivals as they have been enduring a miserable run of form. However, given the quality of players at the disposal of manager Eddie Howe despite the injury setbacks, the Magpies should edge Saturday’s contest at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland 1-2 Newcastle United
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