Newcastle Sunderland Odds : Alan Pardews men look the bet in northeast derby

Newcastle United will be hoping to get their quest for a Champions League place back on track this weekend when they host their fierce North-east rivals Sunderland on Sunday afternoon as Bet365 make Alan Pardew’s men 11/10 shots, and considering Sunderland’s capitulation at West Brom last week, this doesn’t look too bad a bet.

Alan Pardew’s men have had a rather below average couple of weeks – they were hammered by Tottenham before drawing at home to Wolves – but overall they have been fantastic this season and they would love a return to winning ways on Sunday.

Looking at the league table going into this weekend, Newcastle are in 6th position, three points adrift from Arsenal in 4th. This means they are in the mix for a top four finish, but they can ill afford their slight blip in form to progress into anything more worrying.

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They should be encouraged by their home form though as they have won four of their last five Premier League games at the Sports Direct Arena. They will hope this, combined with a passionate home crowd, can help them to three points this weekend.

Sunderland will fancy their chances of getting something though. They may well have lost their last two Premier League games – to Arsenal and West Brom – but their form has been excellent under new manager Martin O’Neill.

The Black Cats are one of three teams on 33 points too , so they have plenty of motivation to get something this weekend. After working wonders since O’Neill took over, they will want a top ten finish this season, no doubt about that.

Revenge will be on their minds too after they were beaten 1-0 at the Stadium of Light by Newcastle earlier this season. They will want to prove that they are a much stronger unit these days.

Looking at the team news for this one, Newcastle are hopeful that new striker Papiss Cisse is fit to start, while Sunderland will make a late call on leading scorer Stephane Sessegnon who has had travel problems getting back from international duty.

Overall, this is set to be quite the contest. Both teams have their ambitions for the remainder of the season and this weekend’s result could go a long way to deciding how realistic they are.

Newcastle v Sunderland gets underway at 12pm on Sunday lunch-time.

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