PHOTOS: Sunderland stars in training ahead of Newcastle United showdown

Below are the best pictures from Sunderland’s training session on Thursday ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Newcastle United

The Sunderland players have stepped up their preparations for Sunday’s Tyne–Wear derby against Newcastle United.

The Black Cats will head into the clash at St. James’ Park placed 15th in the Premier League table with just 16 points from as many matches.

Gus Poyet’s side are only two points above the relegation zone and need to pick up wins to go further away from the bottom three.

Sunderland have yet to win this month, having kicked off December with a 4-1 home defeat to Manchester City before drawing with Liverpool (away) and West Ham United (home).

The players have been training this week and will be determined to return to winning ways against fierce rivals Newcastle on Sunday.

Below are the best pictures from Thursday’s training session.

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