Sam Allardyce
Sam Allardyce has taken over at Sunderland in a bid to see off relegationReuters

Sunderland host Newcastle United in the Tyneside derby on Sunday, 25 October, in what is billed as a must win game for both sides. The two teams are currently embroiled in a relegation battle, with Sunderland currently on the bottom of the table with just three points, while Newcastle are settled on 18th, with six points from their last nine games.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 12pm GMT. Live coverage of the game will be on Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 1 HD.

Overview

This will be the first big test for new manager Sam Alalrdyce as in charge of the Black Cats, having failed to lead his side to at least a point against West Bromwich Albion last weekend. Saido Berahino scored the winner, as Sunderland failed to find the back of the net for the fourth time in their last five league outings.

Allardyce complained that there were a series of fouls that led to Berahino's goal, but he needs to get his players to give more on the pitch if they have to sustain themselves in the Premier League. The former West Ham and Bolton manager has never suffered relegation, but should they fail to beat Newcastle, it will be a tall order for the manager to get anything out of the campaign.

The Black Cats have a good record against Newcastle in recent years and will be boosted by the availability of Jeremain Lens from suspension, who scored a peach of a goal against West Ham a few days back.

Meanwhile, Newcastle have a few problems of their own to worry about, having conceded 10 goals in their last three games. The goals shipped were exacerbated by their performance against Manchester City before the international break, where Sergio Aguero hit five to put the result beyond doubt for the Cityzens. Steve McClaren's side did not have an answer to the Argentine's outburst, but found some groove of their own, hitting six past Norwich City in their last game.

A draw here would be a good result for Newcastle, while a win could give them the confidence they need to go back to winning ways in the league. Georginio Wijnaldum's four goal masterpiece could pave the way for bigger things in the future, while Aleksander Mitrovic is also back on goalscoring terms.

What managers say

Sam Allardyce: "It isn't just another game - it's far from it for me. It's one that nobody wants to be on the wrong side of, there's no doubt about that. It can have a more damning effect losing this game than any other. So get out there - and win. I've spoken to Brucie several times about his time here, particularly when Niall Quinn was around because they were the combination who tried to move the club forward. He's talked to me many times about that big ­defeat to Newcastle. He's hoping it's something that doesn't happen to me. I also spoke to him about how great the club is and what the set-up is like. It helped me in my ­decision-making to come here."

Steve McClaren: "[On Allardyce] I'm sure the next time it comes up, he'll put himself forward," said McClaren who endured a turbulent 18 month spell in charge of the national squad. But I don't think Sam is concentrating on that - and I certainly wouldn't recommend it. That's just a personal opinion but I respect him as a person and as a manager. I think he's a great club manager as he's proved wherever he's gone."

Betting odds (888Sport)

Sunderland Win: 17/11

Draw: 12/5

Newcastle United Win: 37/19

Team News

Sunderland

Possible XI: Pantilimon; Jones, Yedlin, Coates, O'Shea; Larsson, Cattermole, Gomez, M'Vila, Lens; Fletcher.

Newcastle United

Possbile XI: Elliot; Janmaat, Coloccini, Mbemba, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote, Colback, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic.