Sunderland starting XI: Westwood, Bardsley, Dossena, O'Shea, Cueller, Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, Altidore, Fletcher
Subs: Mannone, Ki, Gardner, Celustka, Giaccherini, Roberge, Borini
Newcastle United starting XI: Krul, Debuchy, Santon, Williamson, Dummett, Tiote, Gouffran, Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Remy
Subs: Elliot, Anita, Haidara, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Cisse
After winning just one point from a possible 24, it is hard to know whether today’s Tyne-Wear derby is a help or a hindrance for Sunderland. But one thing is certain: the pressure is on Gus Poyet to deliver after a shambolic 4-0 defeat in his first game in charge.
The last time these two teams met, Paolo Di Canio could do nothing wrong, as he celebrated each of the Black Cats’ three goals as if they each one a separate World Cup.
But the Italian is long gone, and it is down to the Uruguayan to do what he has done twice in recent times as Brighton boss – beat Newcastle United.
The Magpies are without the suspended Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, while Sunderland welcome back Ki Sung-Yeung after he was ineligible to play against his parent club Swansea.
Sunderland have won only one of their 11 Premier League matches against their fierce rivals, drawing five and losing five. And without a clean-sheet in any of those matches, it appears likely they will have to score at least two to take all three points this afternoon.
What do you think today’s result will be?
image: © Rach