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Preview: Sunderland Go To Newcastle Looking For Four In A Row

Derby day!

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Sunderland team news

Emanuele Giaccherini is expected to return to the Sunderland squad, though the game has come too soon for fellow-injury victims Billy Jones and Patrick van Aanholt.

Gus Poyet's biggest decision appears to be who starts the game up front, with Steven Fletcher pushing for a recall.

Newcastle team news

Who cares? Some ars*hole is probably injured and some insignificant irritant might play instead. The end.

Predicted line up

Sunderland - Football tactics and formations

Key match-up: Jordi Gomez v Jack Colback

This probably isn't a key on-pitch match-up, but just an good excuse to remind ourselves that after his goal against West Ham last week, Jordi Gomez has three Sunderland goals for Sunderland in his 16 appearances - just two shy of Colback's total from 135 games for the club.

Recent form: LLLLL

Lucky to not lose by more: West Ham 1-0 Newcastle

Lucky to scrape a draw: Burnley 1-1 Newcastle

Lucky to not get battered out of sight: Newcastle 2-1 Chelsea

Lucky to even keep it respectable: Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle

Lucky to be there in the first place: Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Newcastle

Last time around: Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland (1/2/2014)

Goals from Fabio Borini, Adam Johnson, and gleefully a p*ss-taking Jack Colback saw Newcastle battered, bruised and humiliated in their own back yard - again. They couldn't even handle Jozy Altidore, man. That was funny.

The ref: Anthony Taylor

Sunderland have an unerringly good record when the Cheshire official has taken charge of them in the past, whilst his record is not very kind to Newcastle to say the least. That probably means he'll drop enough clangers in one game to even it up.

That said, looking at his record this season alone, he has presided over one Newcastle game, which they won, and one Sunderland game, which was drawn (at Burnley).

What the managers said

Gus Poyet

We know our strength, how to play in certain games, especially away from home.

I think it suits us better at the moment to play away from home.

Then it will depend on the first goal; key moments in the game when you need to score.

I think the feeling here at the moment is that we go into every game thinking we have a chance to win it, although we haven't seen that too many times this season.

I think it will be a very close game. I can't see a big result one way or the other.

Alan Pardew

**Something smarmy and utterly cringeworthy. I couldn't be bothered to check.**

Roker Report predicts

3-0 seems a little out-of-fashion now. Newcastle will probably score, because they can't carry on being this bad in derbies forever, but we'll go with it being settled by a Jack Colback own goal - 2-1.