Newcastle v Sunderland – Tyne-Wear derby match preview

Crossing the divide
Well it’s nearly upon us. The 146th Tyne-Wear derby is just a day away from taking place at St James’ Park in a what is sure to be a cauldron of atmosphere and fervour.

The rivalry between Newcastle and Sunderland always reminds of a saying. They are always trying to get one over on us but ultimately end up failing most of the time. It’s become quite humorous. They try and keep up with the Jones’ who have just brought a shiny new BMW by purchasing an equally shiny and new Lada.

I mean the very fact that they are harping about a 9-1 defeat they inflicted on us 104 years ago kind of highlights the desperate lengths these Mackems will go to. I always ask them if they remember it, because I remember the 5-1 result last season very well, and the 4-1 at the Stadium of Light. the proclamation that they are the “top dogs” started when weren’t even in the same league as them. A hollow victory, like winning an egg and spoon race by virtue of being the only one entering the competition.

Of course they did finish above us last season, which will naturally put some gloss on their season after we beat them 5-1 and drew with them 1-1 at the Stadium of Light – the now departed Asamoah Gyan with an injury time equaliser prompting wild scenes of celebration on Wearside that haven’t been seen since 1973.

However when it comes to head-to-head records we are the top dogs. We’ve not lost a derby at St James’ Park since 2000, we’ve only lost a Tyne-Wear derby three times since the inception of the Premier League, and if you go back further than that you will see that we’ve won 53 times compared to their 45 with the other 47 occasions ending up as draws.

Newcastle United

Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Nile Ranger, Leon Best, Steve Harper and Sammy Ameobi are all ruled out through injury. Papiss Cisse should be fit to feature after pulling out of international duty in midweek while other international players like Cheik Tiote, Davide Santon and Tim Krul all returned from international duty unscathed.


Titus Bramble and Wes Brown remain on the sidelines and will definitely not be featuring. There are also doubts over Phil Bardsley and Stephane Sessegnon however with the former being sent home from international duty and the latter struggling to get home from Africa after missing a connecting flight. Personally I think they’ll both feature. David Vaughan could return to the starting line-up after a spell on the sidelines.

Previous form

Perceptions are funny things. On one hand the perception is that the wheels are starting to fall off the Toon wagon while on the other it would appear that Martin O’Neill is working minor miracles at Sunderland. The real truth is that over our last six games we’ve picked up more points than Sunderland have – 10 against their 9. Also both sides have been on the end of thumpings in recent weeks.

Then again, this is a derby and form tends to go out of the window. I remember last season we were “light years” behind them and they couldn’t beat us, while this season we were relegation fodder and beat them again, in their own back yard…

Tactic talk and team selection.

Much has been made of tactics in the run up to this match. Both managers have come under a bit of criticism from sections of their own support for their tactical approach – Pardew for his 4-4-2 and O’Neill for his 4-5-1 while using Stephane Sessegnon as a lone striker.

Despite the strains of criticism I can’t see either manager changing things, in fact we’ve had word from Alan Pardew saying pretty much that it will be 4-4-2 as he has to fit his two strikers in and two key midfielders in. In that instance the success of the match will depend in how we deal with Sunderland’s five man central midfield.

It’s something we have struggled with this season in truth. We get overrun against five men as they outnumber our four (sounds simple doesn’t it?) and struggle to get a foothold in the game. This is what a lot of teams do to us nowadays unless they feel they are better than us, like Manchester United who also went 4-4-2 against us and found themselves resoundingly beaten.

We have our back five. Whatever your view on them we know it will be Tim Krul between the sticks with Danny Simpson at right-back, Davide Santon at left-back with Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini paired in central defence once more. Before anyone has kittens bear in mind that the only change from that defence and the one that helped beat Sunderland 5-1 last season is Davide Santon for Jose Enrique.

In fact we can go further than just the defence and name pretty much the rest of the team. We know it will be Jonas on the left with Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye in the middle and we know both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse (if fit) will start up front. That just leaves one spot – the much debated right-wing spot!

Who fills it depends on a number of factors. Do we need pace to help out at the back and get forward? Use Obertan. Do we need a bit of skill and guile to open things up? Use Ben Arfa. Do we need an extra hand from set-pieces and a threat from free-kicks? Use Ryan Taylor.

All three of them have plus and minus points in truth but I’d probably plump with Gabriel Obertan. Ryan Taylor really showed himself up against Wolves although he wasn’t the only one. However fans want to get back to winning way, and understandably so, so why not try reverting back as close as we can to the team that started off the season so well?

Just an idea.

Ref watch

Mike Dean is the man in the middle for this one. I don’t like him. He’s taken charge of Newcastle games twice this season overseeing a win at Stoke and a loss at home against Chelsea – the match where he inexplicably failed to send off David Luiz in the opening minutes of the match despite him being the last man and denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. According to Dean it wasn’t a clear goalscoring opportunity, which baffled me as Demba Ba was dead centre of the pitch and through on goal.

He also gave a rather weak penalty against us at the Britannia during the 3-1 win against Stoke, although in fairness he balanced that decision out and awarded us an equally weak penna after foul on Leon Best.

Final thoughts

The nerves are starting to kick-in now, it’s official. I’m gutted that I won’t be making the match as it’s the first one I’ve missed in years. However, work calls I’m afraid. Would love to be going though so if you are make it a cracker and really be the 12th man. I mean that in a non-condescending manner by the way, I’m not telling you to support the team or anything like that. That will come as standard against this lot.

Most important of all, be safe. Have a good time by all means, but don’t be silly. Remember, people are watching this one so let’s set an example by showing why we are the best fans in the land!

Howay the lads!

Date: Sunday, 4th March, 2012
Kick-off: 12:00pm
Venue: St James’ Park

About toonsy

A lifelong Newcastle fan and current webmaster of this very 'blog who has the sole aim of creating a place by Newcastle United fans, for Newcastle United fans.

55 thoughts on “Newcastle v Sunderland – Tyne-Wear derby match preview

  1. fantastic news to arise to, wonder what the odds are on colo getting the winner tomorrow , as for simpson well I’m not too fussed if he doesn’t sign as he can be replaced, Demba next please!

    i don’t think sunderland will cause us too many problems as they will be sitting back we just have to keep composed and be patient when attacking and hopefully we can get an early goal, if that happens i think we will hammer them.


  2. this is the most important match of the season for newcastle!! a win will be fantastic and a loss will be devestating!! i think a win will defo put our tails up for the run in!! im goin tomorrow so absolutely cant wait!!! i personally would start with raylor tomorra as he will beefin up our midfield ! my prediction tomorrow 2-1 to us! hwtl


  3. good article and btw is start raylor at right back and benarfa on the wing then we have the set pieces in the team as well as well as the creativity πŸ˜›


  4. Toonsy good preview lad πŸ˜‰ I was nervous all week but the Colo and Krul news has made me a lot less nervous, as I think the team and the fans will have got a lift from it, and they’ll be well up for it.
    As for the mackems Lada do they even make them anymore ?


  5. I think we need a win for Liverpool v arsenal.

    Hate seeing them win but it’s for the best I think.


  6. @TROY: The only way right now for us to get 4th spot is, chelsea losing WBA,Stoke.

    And Arsenal losing to liverpool later.

    Then our next match after the derby match,we must do our very best to beat Arsenal.

    I hope van persie get red carded tonight. 😈


  7. Heard the 10 points to their 9 stat the other day, Shows how ****ing clueless the media are with their constant o’neil spiel.

    Lets top off the weekend that has been good long term for the club with a short term ****ting of the monkeys… 😈


  8. Had the week from hell, todays news has lifted spirits a little, now let’s beat the ****as from down the road and I’ll be happy as a pig in ****e.HTL

    Congrats on ya wedding Army, hope all went well.


  9. off topic i see they are moveing wor jackie to outside sjp near to gallowgate end,thats great but is this a jabba stunt???


  10. Army-Congratulations hope you had a great day. πŸ˜€
    Richietoon @10- Hope you are alright mate ,sound really down.Hopefully a toon win can improve on a bad week for you.


  11. KimT….I’m fine mate cheers, just been one of those weeks……all will be forgotten if we win tomorrow :mrgreen:


  12. I’m not sure, i think i want an Arsenal win, 4th would be amazing, but i would be delighted with 6th, Arsenal win followed by us winning tomorrow would leave us 7 points clear of the scousers.


  13. hate early kick offs the key tomorrow is that a clean sheet is essential the back four needs to be tight midfield to be competitive and creative and above all disciplined and the two dembas to put the chances away when they come cant wait hope the atmosphere is electric and my prediction a tight odd goal win for the toon hwtl 😐


  14. Surely the FA should do some retrospecive banning for diving, its a ****in joke – Suarez hits the floor if a slight wind hits him
    Think I’d be happier with a draw for bindippers/arse and a win for us tomorrow and next week


  15. @Aissie

    To be fair. It’s the first time you’ve made a funny post. πŸ˜†


  16. At least spell my name right when you you give out a back handed compliment mate:-)


  17. @trumpet

    We have to keep in toouch with the top 4 for as long as possible. Arsenal are very vulnerable. Huge amount of pressure on Wenger to finish in the top 4.
    It might just get to them if they get beat and we win tomorrow.


  18. Surely it doesnt matter if liverscum finish above us now, as they are already in euope, unless they are 4th. So a scouse win is best for us, much as I would hate to see it.


  19. B1GSTEVE – No. Liverpool need to finish in 5th for the Europa position to drop down to 6th. To get it to 7th depends on the FA Cup finalists.


  20. @Aussie

    Let’s net get too close it makes me feel uncomfortable. πŸ˜‰

    We have nothing in common πŸ˜‰


  21. The big issue right now is we have chelsea stack right in the middle.

    We need them to drop their form as much as possible too,whereas we need to have some winning run. 😐


  22. I was being sarcastic in my last post Troy…. I certainly don’t want to replace Cabaye as your man crush πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  23. @Aussie

    Seriously. Where in Oz are you from?
    Are you british living out there?
    And what time is it?


  24. Live in Western Australia just south of Perth – its a little after 10 pm so kick off tomorrow will be around 8pm. Not a ex pat.


  25. How did you end up supporting the toon and is the premier league popular in in Oz?


  26. the bindippers need to bring on the gatesheed gypsy. he would terrify the arse defence


  27. The PL is very popular here in Oz. I’ve played soccer from around 7 years old and have loved the game to this day. Been supporing the toon for nearly 20 years, can’t exactly remember why? Maybe it is because ever one else was supporting Liverpool. This later changed to Man U when they started winning things. Australians always like backing winners, so I don’t meet a lot of local toon fans..


  28. Fair dinkum fella. πŸ˜‰

    I’ve got a better picture now of who I’m arguing with next time. πŸ˜‰


  29. How good is RVP… he let the ball come across his body and he still struck it sublimely.. ****en good technique..


  30. Definitely. My head was wanting a Liverpool win or a draw, but it is lovely to see those scummy scouse ****s getting done over.


  31. Raylor on the right for me. To replace Simpson ideally but hey ho….for some reason he gets picked every single game….


  32. KIMTOON your on wrong thread mate lol,but thats what i would like to see,plus do we trust simpson against mclean,kna imo


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