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    Sunderland v Newcastle United: Match Preview

    A truly special Super Sunday kicks off with the biggest match in the North East - Sunderland taking on Newcastle United. Sunderland will be looking to make it an unprecedented 6 wins in a row against their great rivals whilst Newcastle will be looking to reclaim the bragging rights in a rivalry that they held the upper hand for so long.

    Sam Allardyce will become the fourth successive Sunderland manager to face Newcastle in his second game in charge, an incredible statistic even for the constant revolving door of managers at Sunderland. With that statistic comes pressure though as all the previous Managers in Dick Advocaat, Gus Poyet and Paulo Di Canio all won their debut derby clashes. Steve McClaren is no stranger to North East rivalries, having managed Middlesbrough for 5 years in the top flight but will find another loss to Sunderland will not be so quickly forgiven and increase the already mounting pressure on him.

    This game is shaping up to be the most unpredictable derby in recent seasons, mainly down to both sides dreadful starts to the season. While Newcastle finally claimed their first win of the season with their 6-2 rout of Norwich, their fans will not be comforted by their shaky defence which looked susceptible with every Norwich attack. The Toon have conceded at least 2 goals in each of their last 5 Premier League games, and they have also lost 9 from their last 10 away games in the League so Sunderland will know they have a huge chance. However the last time Newcastle traveled to Sunderland on the back of a win was all the way back in 2006, when they won 4-1 in Alan Shearer's last game for the club.

    The last time Newcastle went to Sunderland on the back of a win Shearer scored his 206th and final goal for the club

    Big Sam will become the first man to take charge of both clubs in the Tyne-Wear derby and will be looking to protect a record of never having lost his first home game at any of his clubs. He will go into the game with only Adam Matthews and Duncan Watmore missing, Jack Rodwell and Ola Toivonen should recover from ankle and groin injuries respectively to play some part. Joint top scorer Jermain Lens will also be available again after suspension. Jermain Defoe could be pushing for a start, he'll have fond memories of this fixture from last season when his wonder goal gifted Sunderland the win. 

    Newcastle will still be without key men Tim Krul and Steven Taylor so Rob Elliot will continue to deputise in goal. They will be looking to score against Sunderland for the first time since October 2013 when Mathieu Debuchy netted in a 2-1 defeat, but will be confident of scoring as Sunderland are still to keep a clean sheet all season. The form of top scorer Georginio Wijnaldum will also worry Sunderland as the Dutchman smashed 4 goals past Norwich in an incredible individual performance.


    The last 2 Tyne-Wear derbies have been tight and cagey affairs, but that's not happening this time. There should be goals aplenty and it's safe to say neither set of fans is expecting their side to keep a clean sheet. Newcastle are coming into the game in better form, although that isn't saying much. I'm going with recent tradition and favour Sunderland to edge a thriller 3-2.

    You can get Sunderland to win at 7/5
    You can get Newcastle to win at 19/10
    If you fancy my prediction, you can get it at 28/1 (All bets through Skybet)

    By Darren Beck (@DarrenBeck13)

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    Item Reviewed: Sunderland v Newcastle United: Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Darren Beck
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