Sunday sees Newcastle United travel to a sold out Stadium of Light in what will be the 147th Tyne-Wear derby.
In what is bound to be a heated encounter, Newcastle are looking to win for the second year in a row on Wearside, after beating the black cats 1-0 thanks to a Ryan Taylor Free-kick last August.
Sunderland, on the other hand, will be looking to avenge Shola Ameobi’s injury-time equaliser at St. James’ Park in March.
From the previous 146 meetings, Newcastle have the edge over their neighbours with 53 wins compared to the 45 wins amassed by Sunderland, there have been 48 draws.
The Black Cats face an uphill task as United have lost just once on Wearside in the last 15 games, a run that stretches back to their Division Two loss at Roker Park in April 1980.
Sunderland’s solitary win came in 2008, as goals from Djibril Cissé and Keiron Richardson sealed a 2-1 win for Roy Keane’s side.
The home side are missing Phil Bardsley, Wes Brown and James McClean through injury, while club captain Lee Cattermole is suspended after picking up a red card in the Capital One Cup.
The Magpies have Ryan Taylor, Dan Gosling and Haris Vuckic missing from their ranks, but Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini and Tim Krul could return.
News on the fitness of Shane Ferguson is awaited after he withdrew from the Northern Ireland squad with a hip problem while Yohan Cabaye played the full game for France against Spain on Tuesday to confirm his recovery after recent reported stomach problems.
Martin Atkinson has been given the huge responsibility of refereeing the game. The Yorkshireman has failed to produce a red card in his last 12 games; it would be no surprise if this came to an end on Sunday.
The game will be aired live on SkySports1 from 1pm.
Selected Match Odds
Ben Arfa 9/1
Source: odds checker