St. James Park – Sunday 21st December at 13:30 live on Sky Sports 1
Sunday see’s the 153rd Tyne-Wear Derby, with Sunderland winning the most recent meeting 3-0. In fact, Newcastle haven’t recorded a league win against their bitter rivals in the last 5 matches and will be desperate to record a win on Sunday.
Utd currently sit 8 places above Sunderland in the league this season and beat table toppers Chelsea in their last match at St. James Park. This was followed by a heavy league defeat to Arsenal last Saturday and then a 4-0 defeat in the Capital One Cup at the hands of Spurs. Whether these last 2 results will have an effect on their performance on Sunday remains to be seen, but there is no fixture the Magpies players will be up for more than this one.
Sunderland head in to this fixture having not won in their last 6 matches. The Black Cats are the draw specialists in the league this season having shared the spoils on 10 occasions from 16 matches. They are also the lowest scorers in the Premier League with just 14 goals. Form can go out the window in these Derby’s though and the players are already talking up the rivalry with Newcastle’s Jack Colback, a product of Sunderland’s youth academy, a target for the Black Cats.
This should be a great game and I believe it will be close. Newcastle have won their last 4 at home but I think their last 2 defeats will be at the back of their mind going into this match. I’m not confident of a Sunderland victory but Sunderland +0.5 @ 1.87 is good value for the draw specialists.