Jamie Redknapp on the two Newcastle United players who must step up against Sunderland

Newcastle United and Sunderland are set to meet at St. James' Park on Sunday.

Jamie Redknapp has told Sky Sports that both Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend need to step up for Newcastle United in their match against Sunderland at the weekend.

The Magpies are set to take on their local rivals in what looks like a crucial Tyne-Wear derby match at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

And Redknapp believes that Newcastle’s game-changers need to rise to the challenge, if Rafael Benitez’s side are to get the three points.

"There’s no love lost between the two managers and two different styles of play," Redknapp said. "I think Newcastle have got good players, but they’ve not been performing as they can. The likes of Wijnaldum and Townsend, players who can do something different - they need to step up this weekend."

Sunderland have won their last six matches on the bounce against Newcastle, and the Tynesiders really cannot afford to allow Sam Allardyce’s men to extend that record.

If Sunderland do win the derby, they will move four points clear of Newcastle and, with time running out, that gap may be insurmountable.

If Benitez’s men are able to win the match they could move out of the drop zone, though, and that would be a major confidence boost.

When the two sides met earlier in the season, Sunderland ran out 3-0 winners, after Fabricio Coloccini was harshly sent off during the first half.

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