In total, the two sides have met 26 times in the Premier League, with Newcastle holding the edge overall with nine wins since their first Premier League meeting in September 1996. The two have drawn nine times and Sunderland have won eight in total, including the last five in a row.
New Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce has experienced the rivalry as head of Newcastle in 2007, where an equaliser from James Milner gave The Toon the share of the spoils at the Stadium of Light.
With so much on the line for two sides sat in the bottom three, we look back at five of the best Tyne-Wear derbies of the Premier League era.
Newcastle 1 – 2 Sunderland, 25th August 1999
With Magpies’ boss Ruud Gullit already under immense pressure after a poor run of results, his decision to drop strikers Duncan Ferguson and Alan Shearer to the bench was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The choice to start with Paul Robinson and Silvio Maric in their places ultimately cost Ruud his job as Sunderland came back to stun a packed Geordie crowd. The image of Kevin Phillips lobbing goalkeeper Tommy Wright as the rain fell under the floodlights is one that has continued lived long in the memory of Mackems’ everywhere.
Newcastle 5 – 1 Sunderland, 31st October 2010
After bouncing back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, Newcastle thrashed their neighbours with a brace from Shola Ameobi and a hat-trick from man of the match, Kevin Nolan. Had it not been for Darren Bent’s injury-time consolation, Sunderland would have had nothing to show as the rampant Toon overwhelmed their rivals from start to finish.
Newcastle finished below Sunderland when the season drew to a close in May, but the bragging rights stayed on Tyneside until 2013 when Sunderland finally scored a victory over the Magpies’.
Newcastle 0 – 3 Sunderland, 14th April 2013
And what a win it was as the visitors blew away Alan Pardew’s men with goals from Stephane Sessegnon, Adam Johnson and David Vaughan providing a historical win for Sunderland. With both sides battling against relegation, it was this result that ultimately kept The Black Cats’ afloat when all was said and done.
The famous sight of Mackems’ boss Paolo Di Canio sliding down the St. James’ Park touchline is something Newcastle fans in attendance will see in their nightmares for years to come.
Newcastle 3-2 Sunderland, 23rd October 2005
Emre Belozoglu’s superb free kick was the final say in a heated game that saw Sunderland twice come from behind before Newcastle pinched all three points for boss Graeme Souness. It’s fair to say the Scot was never a popular appointment on Tyneside but he at least has this famous win in his favour.
A pulsating affair, the result was always in doubt with both teams throwing everything at each other for 90 minutes. Two goals from Shola Ameobi were cancelled out by Liam Lawrence and Stephen Elliot, clawing Sunderland back into the game every time Newcastle looked to push ahead.
Elliot later hit the bar before Emre stepped up to smash the ball past a helpless Kelvin Davis and spark jubilant scenes for the sell-out crowd.
Sunderland 1 – 0 Newcastle, 5th April 2015
In what has become a recurring theme in recent memory, the North-East sides were again battling to avoid the drop with both in what seemed to be an irreversible tailspin.
A fabulous Jermaine Defoe shot from outside of the box settled the contest, whilst goalkeeper Tim Krul found himself the victim of backlash from the Toon Army after he seemed to have congratulated the striker in the tunnel at half-time.
Seven yellow cards confirmed how high emotions were running for the bitter rivals as Newcastle surrendered once again to their neighbours, yet both still survived, barely, to set up this Sunday’s enticing contest.