Sunderland have come out on top in the last six meetings between the two Premier League strugglers.
Former Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi believes that it is imperative that the Magpies end their abysmal recent record against Sunderland if they hope to get the kind of momentum they need to stay in the Premier League, the Newcastle Chronicle reports.
The Black Cats have won the last six Tyne-Wear derbies, and are unbeaten in eight in total. However, with Sunday's game perhaps boasting more significance than any other in that recent run, Ameobi has stressed that his old side need to do everything they can to finally get that victory, as it may have major implications for the rest of the season.
"The players simply must give themselves a chance of ending the derby misery," he told the Chronicle.
"It really could galvanise the city and give the Magpies the impetus for the rest of the relegation run-in.
"Sunderland are Newcastle's relegation rivals, and so a victory will have even more significance than normal - if that's possible."
The two teams are separated by just one point and two places in the top flight. However, crucially, Sam Allardyce's men sit above the bottom three while Newcastle are sandwiched between Norwich City and Aston Villa in it, meaning that a win for either side could be huge for their survival hopes.
And with Rafael Benitez's men facing the Canaries in their first game back following the international break, they will know that ending their near five-year wait for a win against their bitter rivals and then securing back-to-back victories will help them take a massive step towards staying in the division.