CONFIRMED: Newcastle & Sunderland line-ups - Ben Arfa & Bridcutt start

Here is how Newcastle United and Sunderland will line-up for this afternoon’s match at St James’ Park:

Newcastle United starting XI: Krul, Debuchy, Santon, Williamson, S Taylor, Tiote, Ben Arfa, Sissoko, Anita, Shola Ameobi, Sammy Ameobi

Subs: Elliot, Dummett, Haidara, Yanga Mbiwa, Marveux, Armstrong, de Jong

Sunderland starting XI: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Brown, O'Shea, Bridcutt, Colback, Ki, Johnson, Borini, Altidore

Subs: Larsson, Gardner, Wickham, Giaccherini, Vergini, Scocco, Ustari

While 16 points separate these two sides, the impact Gus Poyet has had since arriving at the Stadium of Light cannot be understated.

Amid the craziness of transfer deadline day the build-up to this derby has been somewhat subdued, at least in the national media, but fans of both clubs will know that league standings will count for nothing once the whistle blows and this match really could go either way.

Clichés out the way, the Black Cats have the chance to make it a hat-trick of consecutive derby wins for the first time since 1923.

And given that the Magpies have failed to score in four of their last five league matches, the suspension of Loic Remy following his dismissal against Norwich City could not have come at a worse time.

What do you think the result will be this afternoon?

image: © nyaa birdies perch

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