The Tyne-Wear rivalry dates back to 1883, when Sunderland beat the Magpies 2-1. Fast-forwarding to more recent times, the Black Cats have been unable to register a victory away to Newcastle since 2001. In fact, the last time they came visiting, they were trounced 1-5!

In spite of two bad games (including a 0-5 loss to Tottenham and a 2-2 draw against Wigan), the Magpies have a wonderful home record and have lost only two home games this season. Newcastle, who are currently sixth in the Premier League, will be looking to register their eighth home win, over fierce rivals Sunderland, to stabilize their position.

Although Sunderland come after two back-to-back defeats (1-2 and 0-4 against Arsenal and West Brom respectively), the Black Cats have actually improved since Martin O'Neill took the reigns in December. The league defeat to Arsenal would no doubt have been made easier to bear after they defeated the Gunners 2-0 in the fifth round of the FA Cup. The players will no doubt bemade a very good improvement this season under new Manager (since December), Martin O'Neill. Sunderland will be trying their best to get a positive result in this important match.

Newcastle Probable Team: Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Colocinni, Santon; R Taylor, Cabaye, Tiot, Gutiérrez; Ba, Cissé.

Sunderland Probable Team: Mignolet; Bardsley (doubtful), Turner, O'Shea, Richardson; Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon.