Stephane Sessegnon now knows what this game is all about as he reflected on his red card last season;
I know the importance of this match now. It's a game where all that matters is winning.
For me personally, yes, it's one where I want to do well because of the last match. After the red card, I felt dreadful and there won't be a repeat. But at the same time, that passes and I want to give my best in this one.
For the fans, it's a massive match and if we can win, it would give me a lot of pleasure.
Local lad Jack Colback thinks we're due a win, and defeat simply isn't an option;
We probably outclassed them in both the games last year but only came away with a point which was massively disappointing.
From what I remember growing up, Sunderland have played well but not got the rub of the green, we'd rather have a shocker of a game and win.
Defeat just isn't an option.
Simon Mignolet talks up the tremendous noise the fans can create, and expectations headed into the derby;
The noise inside the stadium at kick-off is unbelievable really.
I still remember the first derby I played, I was chatting to my defenders but they couldn't hear me, it's that loud.
It's always a big game, everybody expects a lot of it and it will be no different this time.
It's a totally different game. You feel it during the week leading up to the game.
Even Sunderland's youngsters are getting up for the weekend's derby, as youth teamer Nathan Thomas Tweeted out during the week;
Can't wait to experience my first Tyne and Wear derby on Sunday, atmosphere should be out of this world #hawaythelads #safc
The man who's rapidly becoming many people's favourite player, and potential chicken-dancer on Sunday, Craig Gardner has bigged up the game, and seems in bullish mood;
As players, we know what the fans want and we know what they need - it's all about the bragging rights. We will get into that mindset and give absolutely everything on the day for our fans.
The lads can't wait for the game. We're raring to go. We're all fit and sharp and we want to win for the fans. They will be right behind us, and it's going to be an awesome game.
It's also getting to the new boys too. Carlos Cuellar has been well and truly caught up in it all, and promises the team are mentally prepared for this one;
On the internet, Twitter, Facebook, everyone has been saying how much they are looking at that game.
In terms of preparation everyone will be excited and training hard. We must go out and enjoy it.
I watched the games on TV last year and you can see and feel how important it is for the clubs and supporters.
We are strong and the confidence and fitness levels are high. Everyone is prepared.
That last word on it goes to the gaffer though, who says the occasion is almost unrivaled;
I have been involved in quite a number of derby games, hardly that many bigger than the Glasgow ones between Celtic and Rangers, but for intensity, this is up there with any of them.
The stadium will be full for Sunday's match and that should evoke a really good atmosphere. Obviously I'm looking forward to it.