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 Sunderlandâ€™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. Thatâ€™s a general comment â€“ not to be confused about anything happening today, of course
Itâ€™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 â€“ 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 thatâ€™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 â€“ 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 weâ€™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 itâ€™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, hereâ€™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 donâ€™t think it will a game in which either side keeps a clean sheet, so weâ€™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!
Hereâ€™s what we think the Newcastle team may look like:
Beye Taylor Rozehnal Enrique
Milner Faye Barton Nâ€™Zogbia
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!