A region divided, families split, workplaces full of fear, dread and anticipation, friends becoming foes. Yep, it’s Tyne-Wear derby time once more!
In the week building up to the game I’m usually flitting between being nervous and being excited but playing on Thursday evening seems to have put a lid on that as far as I’m concerned and it’s only now I’m feeling anxious.
We are the home side and we have to win, it’s as simple as that. Bragging rights hinge on this game and anything other than defeat for Sunderland will ensure that Wearside have the advantage in the banter stakes when normal service resumes after the weekend. That simply can’t be allowed to happen. I don’t want to hear about the production commemorative Sunderland mugs celebrating a rare derby day win again, like what happened five years ago!
Tickets for this game sold out within hours and not one seat inside the ground is available. A complete sell-out for a third time in a week will ensure an electric atmosphere inside the ground. For those that are lucky enough to be there, enjoy!
For those like me who are having to work and miss parts of the game or couldn’t get tickets or whatever rest easy. The game is live on Sky and even though it’s a relatively early start (for us here in the UK anyway!) I’m sure plenty of people will be up to watch it! We need streams people, so if you happen to find one on your trawls round the web then please share it by leaving a link to it in the ‘comments’ section below.
I will be on hand to provide with you with team news as soon as it becomes available. The full team-sheet will be added in at the bottom of this article but both teams are carrying injuries so neither side is playing at what you could call full strength. To view the injury statuses for both sides read my match preview by clicking here.
Really I don’t need to go any longer. We all know what is at stake here and what the game means to everyone on both sides of the divide. All I’ll say is let’s do this!
Howay the lads!
Newcastle: Tim Krul; Mathieu Debuchy, Steven Taylor, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Jonas Gutierrez; Cheik Tiote, Yohan Cabaye; Sylvain Marveaux, Moussa Sissoko, Yoan Gouffran; Papiss Cisse
Subs: Rob Elliot, James Perch, Massadio Haidara, Vurnon Anita, Hatem Ben Arfa, Adam Campbell, Shola Ameobi
Sunderland: Simon Mignolet: Phil Bardsley, Carlos Cuellar, John O’Shea, Danny Rose; Adam Johnson, Alfred N’Diaye, Sebastian Larsson, James McClean; Stephane Sessegnon; Danny Graham
Subs: Kieran Westwood, Matthew Kilgallon, Jack Colback, David Vaughan, Kader Mangane, Mikael Mandron, Jordan Laidler