The first Wear-Tyne derby is almost upon us and along with it come the normal feelings of angst and excitement.
Excitement in recent years has been something that has been missing from this fixture for fans of a black and white persuasion as the bragging rights have quite comprehensively remained on Wearside.
But still there is that excitement there. The feeling that few other games bring about throughout the season. While some fans at other clubs may be quick to point out that this isn’t a real derby because we don’t share the same city or that their own derby is better, the fat remains that they are talking bollocks. For fans of Newcastle and Sunderland this is OUR derby so sod what everyone else has to say about it.
The Merseyside derby is classed as ‘the friendly derby’ and there have been moves from both clubs and the local Police to make our fixture more friendly. There will be no Police escorts and fans are free to make their own way to the ground and I’d urge everyone involved to show passion the passion that is in their hearts on the day but to also use their heads to make sure that this passion is displayed the right way.
Back to the match and United will of course be buoyed by the 6-2 victory recorded over Norwich last week while Sunderland will hope to benefit from the inevitable fresh impetus injected by a new manager as Sam Allardyce takes charge of his first home game in charge of the Black Cats. We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out on the day in a fixture which, despite winning streaks for either side, has been remarkably evenly split over the history of the fixture.
Jeremain Lens and Sebastian Coates are available once more after completing suspensions while Ola Toivonen has recovered from a groin strain and is fit again for selection. However Fabio Borini is struggling with an ankle injury and will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Steven Taylor and Tim Krul are long term absentees which we know about, but it’s the others on the injury table where an update on their progress may be deemed useful. Karl Darlow and and Gabriel Obertan are still around four weeks away from a return while Emmanuel Riviere is closer but is still a fortnight away. Rolando Aarons and Kevin Mbabu are fit again and are in contention to feature.
The headline about recent history is that Sunderland have won the last five derbies. Before that though there was a run of six games without a win for the Black Cats and going back a bit further there was an 11 game streak where Sunderland again failed to record a win.It doesn’t matter though as essentially it is who turns up on the day. Recently it’s been Sunderland but there have been periods where it’s been Newcastle and while runs of results like that are never nice for the side on the other end the fact remains that historically the amount of victories is split pretty evenly as you’ll see below.
There have been 152 games between the two sides (140 in the league). Newcastle have won 53, Sunderland have won 50 with a further 49 draws demonstrating just how similar results have been historically.
Stats and facts…
Sunderland have won the last five derbies. Neither side have ever won six straight Wear-Tyne/Tyne-Wear derbies.
Newcastle have allowed their opponents to have 55 shots at goal so far this term – more than any other side in the division.
Sam Allardyce is the fourth consecutive Sunderland boss to face Newcastle in his second game in charge. Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet and Dick Advocaat all lost their opening match before winning in the derby. Allardyce lost his first game so lets hope history doesn’t repeat itself!
Newcastle approach this game on the back of a victory. The last time that happened was in April 2006.
In their respective Premier League management careers, Sam Allardyce has managed to pick up an average of 1.28 points per game while Steve McClaren has picked up an average of 1.25 pints per game.
What can you say about derby day that either hasn’t already been said or doesn’t sound as though I’m writing this while using a book of cliches?
You can’t really. It’s literally all about the passion and local bragging rights as, being honest, neither side has really been able to do anything else apart from tread water for a good number of years now and the days where Sunderland and Newcastle had a period of being dominant, title-winning sides have long since gone.
I’m cool about it all at the minute but you can put your money on it that come kick-off time I’ll be jumping up and down on the sofa. The lad is staying at Granny and Grandpa’s house on the Sunday night and I’ve already told the wife that what we do on the evening depends on the result during the day. But I think she already knows that.
It is simply who wants it more, who can take their chances, and who can keep a cool head. Add those in with a bit of luck and really it could go either way.
Howay the lads!
Date: Sunday, 25th October, 2015
Venue: Stadium of Light