Sam Allardyce has recalled Turkish star Emre, Aussie striker Mark Viduka and Czech defender David Rozehnal for the derby clash at the Stadium of Light today.
Nicky Butt (suspended), Jose Enrique and Claudio Cacapa are the players who make way, and it looks like Charles N’Zogbia will operate at left-back in place of Enrique.
Alan Smith drops back into midfield where he is joined by Emre, Joey Barton and James Milner. Michael Owen will be captain for the day, as Geremi again starts on the bench and Michael will be partnered by Mark Viduka in attack. Still no place, even on the bench, for Shola Ameobi, a local Newcastle lad.
It looks like Smith will be out on the right wing and Milner out left, with two attacking midfielders in Barton and Emre – looks like a strange team to us.Â Not much defensive strength in midfield – wasn’t that one of our faults last week?
For Sunderland, former Newcastle player Michael Chopra starts up front alongside Kenwyne Jones, and Carlos Edwards also returns to the Sunderland side following injury.
Sunderland: Craig Gordon, Nyron Nosworthy, Ian Harte, Danny Higginbottom, Paul McShane, Grant Leadbitter, Ross Wallace, Dickson Etuhu, Carlos Edwards, Michael Chopra, Kenwyne Jones
Subs: Anthony Stokes, Liam Miller, Darren Ward, Danny Collins, David Connolly
Newcastle: Steve Harper, Steven Taylor, Charles N’Zogbia, Abdoulaye Faye, David Rozehnal, James Milner, Alan Smith, Emre, Joey Barton, Michael Owen, Mark Viduka
Subs: Jose Enrique, Oba Martins, Geremi, Habib Beye, Fraser Forster
Referee: M Atkinson
Attendance:Â 48.000 sell out