Sunderland v Newcastle – Derby day team news, stats and facts.

Sunderland's Stadium of Light.
A busy day at Sunderland.
It’s a match that doesn’t really need any extra build up. All you need to say is: Sunderland v Newcastle.

An entire region will grind to a halt. Families will be split between alliegances of black and white or red and white. Friends become enemies. All of this, and more, is inspired by the deep-seated dislike of the other club.

Of course, if you want to add some extra spice where there really isn’t any needed, you could add on the sheer desperation that Sunderland have to inflict some form of revenge after they got smashed 5-1 at St James’ Park earlier in the season. I just hope that, whatever happens, those little doylums from down the road keep their sharpened coins in their pockets on this occasion and don’t embarrass North-East football with their behaviour again.

Moving on….

Nedum Onouha is fit to feature for the Black Cats after shaking off a hamstring problem. Lee Cattermole and Danny Welbeck could also return from injury ahead of schedule, although it’s unknown whether or not either player will be risked by Dame Steve Bruce.

Frazier Campbell, David Meyler, Michael Turner, Trevor Carson and John Mensah will all miss the match through injury.

Last time out Sunderland lost to another team with the nickname of The Magpies as they got dumped out of the FA Cup by Notts County, on their own patch aswell. Hopefully that will be a good omen for this match. Anyway, they played a strong team for that match, but it wasn’t a full strength team. For that we will have to look back to their last league match against Aston Villa where they lined up with a team of;

Sunderland: Craig Gordon, Phil Bardsley, Titus Bramble, Anton Ferdinand, Kieron Richardson, Ahmed Elmohamady, David Meyler, Jordan Henderson, Steed Malbranque, Darren Bent, Danny Welbeck.M

I expect that Dame Bruce will replace Meyler with Bolo Zenden and Danny Wellbeck with Ballon d’Or nominated striker 🙄 Asamoah Gyan.

Newcastle will welcome back Jonas Gutierrez, Jose Enrique and Shola Ameobi for the match at Sunderland. All three had missed the FA Cup defeat to Stevenage but will return to action against the Black Cats. Dan Gosling could also play some part in the fixture after proving his fitness in a behind-closed-doors friendly in midweek. A place on the bench is perhaps the most likely outcome though.

However, the return of those players doesn’t mask the amount of players that are unavailable to Newcastle for the short trip South. The biggest news is that Andy Carroll has been ruled out, closely followed by the fact that Cheik Tiote starts his three match suspension, although there is an argument to suggest that the loss of Cheik is the greatest miss. Steven Taylor is also ruled out whilst Sol Campbell is doubtful. Hatem Ben Arfa and Ryan Taylor remain injured.

Much like Sunderland, Newcastle named a stronger than expected team in their FA Cup tie last weekend, but they also fell foul to a lower league team. We do have a few faces returning though, which means that I would probably go with a team something like this;

Newcastle: Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Mike Williamson, Fabricio Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Wayne Routledge, Joey Barton, Kevin Nolan, Jonas Gutierrez, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands.

Obviously you could change it and play Barton out wide with Guthrie in the middle, or Alan Smith in the middle, which is a big no-no in my book but will probably happen regardless. You could also switch Lovenkrands for Leon Best, or play five in midfield, or play with one striker with Kevin Nolan tucked in behind the main striker. Let us know what you think.

This will be the 132nd league meeting between the two clubs. Newcastle have clocked up 50 wins, compared to 41 for Sunderland. A victory for Newcastle would complete a league double over Sunderland for the first time in five seasons. Their last win at the Stadium of Light was a 4-1 (even Chopra scored) win back in April 2006.

Sunderland have lost only one home league game all season, but they have been beaten in two of their last three games at the Stadium of Light in all competitions.

Shola Ameobi has played ten times against Sunderland. He has only been on the losing side once and has scored four goals against the Mackems in his last three appearances.

All in all, it’s a local derby and form is said to go out of the window, but looking at the bigger picture I’d say that a draw would be a good result. Don’t get me wrong, I’d kill for a win, but a draw away at a team that has a good home record would be a good result in my opinion, and would also steal their thunder. They would have no bragging rights for that, no comeback, no nothing.

Howay the lads!

P.S. Remember the game is set for a 12:00pm kick-off here in the UK, so don’t forget!

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