A week is a short time to let things settle, but if Paolo Di Canio thought he had a bumpy introduction to life as a Black Cat things will only get more turbulent this Sunday.
Sunderland’s first game under the fiery Italian ended in a loss at Stamford Bridge, meaning they had not won in their last nine outings. Newcastle on the other hand, have their tails up and have won their last four at home. However, with local police feeling it necessary to warn home fans against inciting a reaction from Di Canio with emotive hand gestures and Alan Pardew prone to getting caught up in the moment himself, anything could happen.
The only certainty is that Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon and Cheick Tiote will be missing for the home side.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 12:00pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Sunderland 1 (Ba OG) Newcastle United 1 (Cabaye), Premier League, October 2012
Newcastle United 1 (Ameobi) Sunderland 1 (Bendtner), Premier League, March 2012
Sunderland 0 Newcastle United 1 (R. Taylor), Premier League, October 2011
This fixture has produced five red cards since 2010, with Sunderland earning two last time they visited St. James’.
There have been three 1-1 draws in the last four fixtures.
Newcastle have conceded 22% per cent of their goals at home after the 90 minute mark.
The fillip for Sunderland is that there may not be a repeat of the 90th minute Shola Ameobi smash and grab goal last season, with the Black Cats not conceding a single away goal this season after the 90th minute.
Newcastle United to win: 1.99
Sunderland to win: 4.6
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at midday, highlights on BBC1 at 10.25pm.