Newcastle United - Sunderland Preview: The biggest Tyne Wear derby ever?

Newcastle United meet Sunderland in the 142nd league Tyne Wear derby at St James Park.

Newcastle United - Sunderland Preview: The biggest Tyne Wear derby ever?
Jones nets against Newcastle earlier this season (photo: BPI)

Sunderland will be looking to pull away from local rivals Newcastle United on Sunday, in arguably the most important Tyne Wear derby of all time.

Seven in a row?

Sunderland have already made derby history with this current run of six victories in a row, but they'd arguably swap them all for a another win in this game, in a match which is being labelled the 'winner stays up derby'. You ask any Sunderland fan though and they'd not say no to a seventh win in a row over Newcastle, purely for this reason.

Billy Jones celebrates in the 3-0 win at the start of the season (photo: BPI)
Billy Jones celebrates in the 3-0 win at the start of the season (photo: BPI)

Extended build-up

Sunderland have had a lot longer to prepare for this game than their local rivals, as they've not played since March 5th against Southampton. This game ended 1-1 after Sunderland got a man advantage, took the lead through Jermain Defoe and conceded a last minute equaliser all in the last 10 minutes. Manager Sam Allardyce has stated his annoyance at his team not turning good perfromances into victories.

Geordies looking for Mackem inspiration

Just like Sunderland's previous four managers, new Newcastle boss Rafiel Benitiez's second game in charge will be a Tyne Wear derby. His first game in charge at leaders Leicester City on monday night brought about a better performance than recent outings, but it was the same feeling for Newcastle in terms of a defeat. That made it five defeats in their last six for the Magpies.

Team news

Allardyce is boosted by the return of Lee Cattermole, a veteran of these occasions from a concussion and winger Jermain Lens after a long term hernia problem.

However young Duncan Watmore is still out with ankle ligament damage along with free agent signing Emmanuel Eboue who has a hamstring problem.

A big boost for Newcastle might be the possible return of defender Chancel Mbemba after more than a month out with an ankle injury, especially with Steven Taylor struggling with a knock picked up in the Leicester game. Papis Cisse is also training again.

Stats

Jermain Defoe has scored in seven of his last eight Premier League away games.

Sunderland have conceded a league high 38 goals away from home this season.

Newcastle haven't won a home game against Sunderland since October 2010.