Sunderland do not have a good away record in the league this season, and have drawn three of their 4 away games and lost the other one.
Chris Hughton – pondering what formation to play
Burt surprisingly the Sunderland defense has conceded only 7 goals, but there again they have only scored 8 goals, so they have a goal difference the same as that of Newcastle of +1.
Newcastle have both scored and conceded more goals than Sunderland with 14 goals scored and 13 goals conceded.
There’s no doubt Chris Hughton would love to get Newcastle’s second home win of the season on Sunday, as he said today:
“We’ve done very well away from home, but we need to address our home form. I’m aware of that,” “This is the ideal game for us to start picking up those points.”
We would expect Newcastle to play an attacking 4-4-2 against Sunderland, but you never know with Chris, and he creates his game plan specifically for the opposition. But we’d be a little surprised if he changes the team at all form that which beat West Ham 2-1 last Saturday.
Having Carroll and Ameobi, both local lads up front, to start the game, they could surely play havoc with the Sunderland defense. Well we certainly hope so, and Shola has had many good games against the old enemy.
18 year-old Haris Vuckic could have earned a place on the bench for Sunday’s game after being the star man for Newcastle against Arsenal, and the Slovenian seems motivated to press on at Newcastle, as he talked this morning:
“There is definitely motivation for me now in training this week,” “I am very excited about the game. My first weekend here after signing I watched the Newcastle-Sunderland game, it finished 1-1 with Shola scoring for us.”
“It is a huge game, I’m excited about it and want to play a part.” “If I’m involved it will be great for me. If I get a chance it will be a brilliant opportunity – I will do everything in my power to make it happen.”
The 18 year-old has shown in his Carling Cup performances that he could be the next youngster to break through into the first team, and he looked a strong central midfield player on Wednesday against one of the best teams in the land.
That cannot be bad.