Newcastle are slight 8/5 favourites to win the Tyne and Wear derby as The Magpies look to pile more misery on Sunderland’s poor start to the season.
Last season, Sunderland stole much of the bragging rights in the North East after coming through both Tyne and Wear derbies without any losses but today’s match at the Stadium of Light could be a much bigger test for new boss Gus Poyet.
After seeing his side demolished by Swansea in his first game in charge, Poyet knows that there is a lot of work to do to try and save a Sunderland side that have only picked up one point all season and are lacking in confidence.
factor that will help sure up the Sunderland defence a little bit will be the return of veteran defender Wes Brown. Brown has been hit by a long run of injury problems that has seen him fail to play a competitive game since January 2012 and he will likely make a cameo appearance from the bench if things go awry.
The only other major change to the squad that lost 4-0 last weekend will be that midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung will return into the line-up after his loan conditions prevented him from playing against parent club Swansea in competitive fixtures.
Although it doesn’t seem a win can come from anywhere for The Black Cats, they can take heart from the fact that the last side they scored more than one goal against was indeed Newcastle in the 3-0 win back in April.
However, Newcastle will certainly not want that to happen again and The Magpies have been in good form in their last few matches and they now currently sit 10th in the table.
Alan Pardew will be keen to make his defensive selections as late as possible to see whether Fabricio Coloccini or Stephen Taylor will be fit to start with both nursing injury problems that have caused them some issues in recent weeks.
If one of them does pass their fitness tests, they will partner Mike Williamson at the back as French defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is suspended after getting sent off in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool last weekend.
There will be much talk about what damage Loic Remy can do in his first Tyne and Wear derby with the Frenchman having been on fire this season scoring 5 goals in his first 8 games for the club.
Although Sunderland will be keen to give everything to win the Tyne and Wear derby, the side seem to be out of luck and out of hope and this will be something that Newcastle are going to be keen to exploit as they continue their push up the table.