Sunderland vs Newcastle Match Preview



Since the last time Newcastle met Sunderland at Sunderland in April of 2005, lots and lots has happened to both North East sides and their management.

Both teams since that time have new owners, new chairmen and new managers – and they both needed it.
Sunderland have been relegated from the Premiership and then were promoted again last season, once Roy Keane took over as manager. Roy was responsible for a remarkable turnaround in Sunderland’s fortunes, in his very first season as a club manager. We want to make it clear we believe Sunderland thoroughly deserve to be in the Premiership, and as far as this site is concerned, we wish them the very best of luck. That’s a general comment – not to be confused about anything happening today, of course 😀

It’s very good for the North East region to have both our two sides in the premiership, and it means of course we have these great Tyne Wear derby games, which are great for both sets of fans. And there is little doubt that the North East fans are the best in the country – no doubt at all about that one.

As far as Newcastle United are concerned, this derby game does not come at a very good time, but there again, no time is either suitable or unsuitable for these derbies, because as Alan Shearer said earlier this week, form goes out the window for these games.

So if that’s true it could be good for Newcastle, who have a terrible away record this season and in their last home game put on their worst performance of the season. Last Saturday, Newcastle were 3 goals behind in a little over 10 minutes to Pompey, and went on to lose 4-1, and deservedly so – unfortunately. On the positive side, hopefully, there is only one way to go for Newcastle, and that is up.

Sunderland have not beaten us on our travels since 1980, but Portsmouth had not won against us at St. James’ Park since 1949, so we’ll just forget about that one 😀 Next – Sunderland have not won in 7 games.

As far as the record goes, of the 136 previous games against Sunderland, Newcastle have won 49, lost 43, and drawn the other 44. Newcastle have scored 207 goals and Sunderland 203 goals, and it’s interesting that both teams have 30 clean sheets each in these derby games. If you want to see every result of each derby game, here’s a web site from newcastle-online you can visit for all the details you ever wanted to know.

Defeat today is almost unthinkable for Newcastle, as it would be 3 defeats on the trot, and an awful long 2 weeks before our next game, at home to Liverpool. But we also don’t think it will a game in which either side keeps a clean sheet, so we’ll go for a 3-2 Newcastle win, and if we can do that it will lift the gloom and doom which has encompassed Tyneside for the last two weeks. And that will mean the Newcastle garden will be very rosy indeed, at least for another 2 weeks.

As far as the Newcastle team for today goes, we expect Habib Beye to be brought back and maybe Steven Taylor to be switched to central defense, so he’s at the heart of everything. We suspect Abdoulaye Faye may play a defensive midfield role, in place of the suspended Nicky Butt. We also think Barton will start and that Ameobi will either start or be a substitute for Mark Viduka. We also hope that Sam plays N’Zogbia on the left wing and James Milner on the right wing – please!

Here’s what we think the Newcastle team may look like:

Beye Taylor Rozehnal Enrique
Milner Faye Barton N’Zogbia
Viduka Owen

Subs: Forster, Cacapa, Emre, Ameobi, Smith

Let us know what you think the result will be – and also what you think the starting team will be – and any other thoughts you have about the game.

Comments are always welcome – and we also invite the Sunderland fans to let us have your comments – just keep it clean 😀

Many thanks – and let’s hope we have a great game – and finally to both sets of fans – and that includes Mike Ashley – behave yourselves! 😀

21 comments so far

  • Mat

    Nov 10, 2007 at 4:38 AM

    Comment #1

    Let’s face it, on performance so far, Newcastle are an average team. That’s not to say that man for man they are not better than their position on the ladder, but as a team their play is uninspiring.

    But average teams can still get the ball to the edge of the last third – two or three straight passes and some quick players will get you there plenty of times. But this is where av. teams lose the ball, time and again – can’t find a player in a goal scoring position.

    Step up Viduka – edge of the penalty area is where this man does his finest and gives average teams, (Middlesbrough), a sniff when by rights, they should not have one. His thing? Holds the ball up, pinpoints a pass at an unmarked teammate’s feet in the 18 yard box and the result is a clear shot from close-range with just the keeper to beat. Without him you are left with long balls from the halfway line, (Martins and Owens last goals) or long range ‘one-in-every-ten’ efforts, (N’Zogbia, Butt, Emre etc.)

    Poor teams will let you have free headers from close range, (Cacapa) but the contenders won’t. How many times has Newcastle scored, opening up the defence in the last third with a string of two or three good passes into the area?

    No Viduka, no hope I’m afraid. Without him holding up the ball for a few seconds, beating two defenders and laying off, Newcastle have to conjure up the ability to string passes together in and around the box – no evidence that they’re capable of this in recent games.

  • Phil

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:12 AM

    Comment #2

    I’d like to see him play Emre in centre midfield instead of Faye but you’re right about playing Miner and N’Zog – though I can’t see it happening sadly.

    At least Viduka is back so the long balls upfield that we are inevitably going to play won’t be completely wasted today.

    Feeling a bit negative this morning, but that’s because the last two games were so utterly shite that I really can’t be positve about our team at the minute. If we put 4 past the mackems and Owen scores first then I’ll be a lot more positive and 3 grand better off!

  • an iPod

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:14 AM

    Comment #3

    the gap between our squads should be enough for a win.

  • Phil

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:17 AM

    Comment #4

    Although it would balls up my bet, I’d prefer to see Martins start than Owen. He has been a bit of a headless in chicken in the last 3 games I’ve watched him play for us and England.

  • Sparkey

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:21 AM

    Comment #5

    hey Ed youve left Martins of the team sheet ?

  • Brisbane Mag

    Nov 10, 2007 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #6

    Here’s my team for todays game:

    Beye Taylor Rozehnal Enrique
    Smith Faye Barton N’Zogbia
    Viduka Owen

    Subs: Forster, Martins, Emre, Ameobi, Milner

  • Lazy

    Nov 10, 2007 at 9:28 AM

    Comment #7

    Here’s what I would like to see today:

    ————– Harper —————-
    —- Beye – Taylor – Enrique ——
    -Milner – Butt – Emre – N’Zogbia-
    ————- Viduka —————–
    —— Owen – Martins ————–

    Subs: Forster, Barton, Smith, Geremi, Cacapa

    I know I only have 3 defenders on, because Michael Chopra doesn’t really strike fear into the heart, and the less defenders out there to make a mistake, the better.

    This also gives us quite a strong, attacking midfield. Barton can come on at 60 minutes for Emre or Butt and Alan Smith can come on for Viduka.

  • Steve_48

    Nov 10, 2007 at 9:40 AM

    Comment #8

    Only one thing to say Lads, my birthday today, I want only one present, say no more

    0-2 should do it for me, otherwise I’m gonna have a bad night tonight

    Come on Lads!

  • Alex

    Nov 10, 2007 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #9

    I hope its Martins and not owen next to viduka today .I have a feeling we are going to get a big win today .Last weekend was a shock to the system that nobody expected ,sam will have let the players know that he will not accept another poor performance. He will have them well and truely fired up .4-0 the toon
    ………….HOWAY THE LADS…………..

  • Greg B

    Nov 10, 2007 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #10

    I think with the players at our disposal we should be hammering teams like S*nderland although Jones and Chopra could cause us some problems at the back. I think Enrique and Beye can snuff out their threat down the wings, when are we going to see ‘The Bull’ put someone into the stands with one of his ‘infamous’ tough tackles? Today would be a good time to see one of those! (as long as its a clean and fair challenge!! :))
    I think we outclass them all through the middle wether we play Butt, Emre, Geremi, Barton, Smith, Milner or N’Zogbia – I personally would go with N’Zogbia, Barton, Butt and Milner to start with.
    Up front, with Viduka expected to be back, I would go with Martins to start and bring Owen off the bench.

    My team for Today:
    Beye, Rozenhal, Faye, Enrique
    Milner, Butt, Barton, N’Zogbia
    Martins, Viduka
    Subs: Forster, Taylor, Emre, Smith, Owen

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #11

    i hope that Big Sam doesn’t play the 4-3-3 formation but more like

    Beye Taylor Rozenhal Enrique

    Milner Barton Smith (C) N’Zogbia

    Viduka Owen

    I also think that Big Sam might play N’Zogbia at left back today and put milner on the left and smith on the right

  • yet_another_indian_toon

    Nov 10, 2007 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #12

    I second Lazy’s team selection…

    ————– Harper —————-
    —- Beye – Taylor – Enrique ——
    -Milner – Butt – Emre – N’Zogbia-
    ————- Viduka —————–
    —— Owen – Martins ————–

    is the way to go.

  • big pea ov the weab

    Nov 10, 2007 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #13

    toon toon black n white army …………….. u no the rest lads come on the toon am off to the bar on the lash b4 a go to the game COME ON THE LADS !

  • toonfan1

    Nov 10, 2007 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #14

    yet another indian toon- Butt is suspened for todays match mate!! i would love to have him in the team but sadly not andalso i thought emre could go where viduka is and play viduka as a proper centre forward instead of owen as he isn’t in good form lately but all in all i agree with your team!! i can see sunderland 0-1 newcastle (viduka 43 mins)

  • joshi

    Nov 10, 2007 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #15

    Beye-Taylor-Roz-Le Bull

  • Bill f

    Nov 10, 2007 at 11:20 AM

    Comment #16

    Happy birthday Steve, god I wish I was 48 again. Hope you get your present, BIG TIME.

  • Steve_48

    Nov 10, 2007 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #17

    Cheers Bill, [although 48 is not exactly my age….. ;-)]

    Went to Toon Vs mackems last year at Church [St. James’] with my brother [who Lord only knows why but he actually supports them, poor misguided child but then there’s always one black sheep in the family] for the 3-2 victory, Happy Days…..

  • Eve

    Nov 10, 2007 at 12:17 PM

    Comment #18

    As much as I wish I wasn’t saying this I see a 1-1 draw. Or someone sneaking it 2-1. I’d say we’ll dominate for nearly the entire match and then we’ll fall asleep at the back just before the end and be punished for it cause Sunderland, as they’ve prooved in the past can score up untill and usually do and after the 90, and a lot of their players are very good at long range shots. If Newcastle fall asleep at the back I’m afraid they’ll punish us. That’s why we need to concentrate for the ENTIRE match which we haven’t been able to do all season..hence why there’s no clean sheets unless you’re talking from the very start of the season when we played rinky dink teams while everyone was still trying to proove themselves, but now it’s just like after a certain point into the season everyones gotten lazy and that’s how our preformances have seemed.
    Other then that it has been disorganisation, bad positioning with this 4-3-3 crap, we’re not good enough to play that way. Simple football works, if we’r ewinning 10-0 with 10 mins to go then he can put Harper as striker I don’t care, but no more of this messing around. They’re going to come at us with absolutley nothing to loose, and ready for a fight, this is Roy Keane we’re talking about, he’s built for days like this. So far this season we’ve been average. Man for man we’re probally better then most of Sunderland but it’s about the entire TEAM preforming today. Lets hope Harper (not so much his fault for all the goals but maybe a little less of the ball watching today, we can’t really do anything about him being in goal today, hopefully he’ll have one of his better days, infairness though, he’s been good when called upon earlier in the season) and the defence don’t have a game like last week.

    Off paper we’re the better team, but paper counts for nothing. It’s about holding your hand up and preforming today and that’s what we need. We need a big preformance from everyone, hopefully they’re ready cause I’ve no doubt that Sunderland will be.

  • Bill f

    Nov 10, 2007 at 12:30 PM

    Comment #19

    Sorry mate, still wish I was 48 again. Don’t be too hard on him, you never know he might see the light one day. 😉

  • nightfall

    Nov 10, 2007 at 1:24 PM

    Comment #20

    Beye Taylor Rozehnal Enrique
    Milner Faye Barton N’zogbia
    Viduka Martins

    subs: Forster, Emre, Owen, Smith, Cacapa

  • Leo

    Nov 10, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #21

    i hate them scummy mackams, did anyone notice how agent chopra didnt make the most of his chances… haha, and when he got booked he was willing the ref to give him a second was quite amusing.


You must log in to post a comment.