Past results and current form indicate Newcastle United will once again better their Tyne/Wear rivals on Sunday.
On the opening day of the 1905 season, Robert Kyle inspired Sunderland to a 3-2 triumph over Newcastle United at Roker Park and, to this day, he remains the only Black Cats boss to claim victory over the club's regional rivals in his first home game in charge.
That, though, has a chance to change on Sunday, October 27 as new manager Gus Poyet takes on the Magpies in his debut outing at the Stadium of Light. While 'new manager syndrome' can often be a very real thing, providing the tonic needed to boost an ailing club's results, against Newcastle, it could prove to just be a bottle of snake oil.
While Newcastle have perhaps shown inconsistent form, they have produced good results, particularly maintaining parity with Liverpool despite having to fight to the death with ten men. Sunderland are on a far worse run of form, are sloppy when defending set-pieces, and, at the foot of the Premier League table with no victories to date, have also conceded an awful 20 goals in eight games.
- In the last 11 Tyne/Wear derbies, Newcastle have emerged on top almost half the time, claiming five victories with five draws and only one blemish. Sunderland's sole win in that spell was in the 2008/09 season
- Out of the two sides, Newcastle are the most unforgiving and if they can rub salt into Sunderland's wounds with a razor-wire Brillo pad then you can be assured they will do so... United have also scored in all of the past 11 derbies
- Dubbed the Mackem slayer, striker Shola Ameobi has struck seven times against Sunderland, however, despite his prowess against them, Loic Remy will likely retain the favour of Alan Pardew as the Frenchman has an attacking efficiency rate (goals + assists / minutes played) of one every 60 minutes
- Sunderland's form is amongst the worst in Premier League history... they have not claimed three points in any of the last matches in the division (since an April triumph over Newcastle, incidentally), had previously gone nine matches without victory before April and are the fourth team in history to only have won a single point throughout the first quarter of the campaign.
What may bode well for worrying Sunderland supporters, though, is that the managerial battle between Poyet and Pardew is one that the latter has never come out on top of. Poyet was also once described by Sir Bobby Robson as 'Newcastle United's scourge' as, during his playing career, he netted six times.
Do you think Newcastle can add a nail to Sunderland's relegation coffin this weekend, or will Poyet prevail and mastermind the Black Cats' first win of the season? Let us know in the comment section below...
image: © blenky64