Sunderland take the short trip up to St James’ Park on Sunday as they aim to reduce the deficit between the two teams in the league to just four points.
With first and second-choice goalkeepers sidelined through injury, 21-year-old Jak Alnwick is expected to keep goal for Newcastle in his first ever Tyne-Wear derby.
Without a win in their last six league games, the Black Cats will look to their top-scorer Steven Fletcher as inspiration as they target their fourth consecutive win over their fiercest rivals.
KICK-OFF: Sunday, 1.30pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3 (Borini, Johnson, Colback), Premier League, February 2014
Sunderland 2 (Fletcher, Borini) Newcastle 1 (Debuchy), Premier League, October 2013
Newcastle 0 Sunderland 3 (Sessegnon, Johnson, Vaughan), Premier League, April 2013
Newcastle edge the head-to-head record between the two teams, winning 53 compared to Sunderland’s 47 victories. There have been 49 draws.
Newcastle have won four of their seven home fixtures in the league this season.
Sunderland have drawn 10 games in the Premier League this season – the most of any side.
Sunderland have scored just 14 league goals this season – the third lowest in the league.
Newcastle to win: 2.12
Sunderland to win: 4.1
Newcastle 5 Sunderland 1, October 2010 - A Kevin Nolan hat-trick helped shatter Sunderland’s seven-match unbeaten run in emphatic fashion four years ago. It was the first time since 1956 the Tyne-Wear derby was been won by a four-goal margin.
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