Mackems must continue fine Tyne-Wear derby form for survival boost
Sunderland have a fantastic recent record in the Tyne-Wear derby, as they have beaten bitter rivals Newcastle United in their last four battles, and are undefeated in their previous six.
They are, therefore, tempting 13/8 favourites with Coral for a much-needed victory again to end their terrible form of no wins in their last seven in the Premier League, or 11/5 to claim a point.
The Magpies are in also lacking in confidence going into this encounter, having suffered three straight defeats, and triumphing just once in their previous seven. But you can back them at 15/8 to get back to winning ways.
It will be Sunderland who come into this clash under the most pressure, though, as they sit precariously in the table – just one point and place above the drop zone – while Newcastle are up in 12th and nine points ahead.
But if anyone can help the Black Cats to safety, it’s Adam Johnson, who has three goals in his last four Tyne-Wear matches. The winger is 13/5 to net anytime, and 15/2 to score last.
Striker Steven Fletcher, meanwhile, will be in confident mood, having recently hit a hat-trick for Scotland (his country’s first for 46 years) against Gibraltar during the international break. He is 15/8 in the anytime market, and 8/1 to bag a brace or better.
For the visitors, meanwhile, they’ll be hoping that Sunderland old boy Jack Colback can score in a black and white shirt this time, after he netted for the Black Cats last season at St James’ Park. The midfielder is 15/2 to get a goal.
Speaking ahead of the game, new Mackem head coach Dick Advocaat said on the prospect of his team gaining a fifth successive Tyne-Wear win: “I would prefer it if [the fans] loved me at the end of the season.
“Every game from now until the end of the season we have to get points – and the first game is Newcastle.”
The Dutchman is also boosted by the returns of Lee Cattermole and Billy Jones to the squad, but Wes Brown, Will Buckley and Emanuele Giaccherini all miss out.
John Carver, meanwhile, won’t be able to call upon injured quintet Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, Cheick Tiote, Siem de Jong and Massadio Haidara, as well as suspended pair Fabricio Coloccini and Papiss Cisse. Mehdi Abeid is available, however.
If you fancy a red card in this usually ferocious fixture, Coral are offering a match special price of 3/1 for any player to get sent off (maximum stake £20).