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Newcastle’s Yanga-Mbiwa serves his one match suspension after being sent off in the 2-2 draw against Liverpool. Fellow centre-back Fabricio Coloccini misses out through injury once again and expected to be out until Christmas. Alan Pardew has confirmed that Cheick Tioté will captain the side again, after impressing in the role last time out.
Sunderland’s favourite man Steven Taylor is available after recovering from injury and is expected to line up at the heart of defence alongside the inspirational Iron Mike Williamson. Taylor once famously stated that he would rather collect stamps than play for Sunderland, which of course wound the mackems up and as a result we’ll no doubt hear the vile ‘Steven Taylor we wish you were dead’ chant from the home contingent once again.
Derby hero Ryan Taylor is on the long term injury list, as he has been for the past year, so he won’t feature. Geordie lad Paul Dummett impressed when he came on last week against Liverpool and grabbed a goal, he is unlikely to start this week though due to the recovery of Steven Taylor. Haïdara has fully recovered from injury, although it is unlikely that he will even make the bench. Uncertainty surrounds the involvement of Jonás who was missing from the 2-2 draw against Liverpool after he was allowed to return to Argentina for personal reasons.
As for Sunderland, Wes Brown is a doubt, but otherwise they have a fully fit squad to choose from. Gus Poyet is expected to make several changes to the side that rolled over for Swansea, after which one national newspaper described every player but Cattermole and Westwood as gutless in that game. Cattermole however was accurately described as talentless. There is always the possibility Poyet could surprise Newcastle. I’m not talking about him defecating on our changing room floor, I mean in terms of team selection.
We’ve worked with the players that have come in. And we look like we’ve got a lot of good options. I was going to start with Dummett for Liverpool because Willo was struggling before the game. It was ironic that he came on. He’d had preparation, but I didn’t expect him to do his little hop, skip and jump after he scored. His family will be proud of him. We’ve had him since he was nine so it is great to get one through.
I don’t expect to see him scoring goals – stopping goals is what he will be paid for. I thought he did that really well. He made some important interceptions and headers. You actually didn’t see the join in the back four when Yanga-Mbiwa went off. We conceded a lot of possession because we only had 10 but we did really, really well. Cheick has replaced Colo. That is what we have needed. He’s playing by example rather than saying too much. Cheick is playing by example and putting in a real shift. We need more of it.
Sometimes, people say in football that you need to pick your 11 best individuals. No – you need to pick your best team. And sometimes that means you need to leave out one of your best individuals. Now we need our best team. We need characters, rather than individuals. We need players who react the right way and who are mentally strong. That is more important than playing your ‘best’ player, or the player that everybody likes.
In my opinion, if you are to do well then you need everybody to have a clear idea of how you want to play and to understand the system. If two or three don’t do that, it is difficult. And if those two or three are in key positions, then you have a big problem. It is clear that, over the eight games so far this season, the 11 players on the pitch week in, week out, haven’t clicked yet, for whatever reason. The day I can tell you my team from one to 11 without any doubts, we will be in a good situation. Now, I have an idea of seven or eight, but there are still some places open. I’m looking forward to it.
It is going to be a very special game, if you ask me ‘would I prefer to go into this game in a better situation and with a few more points’, of course, yes. But this is the situation we are in, and I am going to do everything I can to help us improve it. And, as far as the players are concerned, if any of them need lifting when we play Newcastle at home, they don’t deserve to be Sunderland players.
This is the first home game for Sunderland manager Gus Poyet, after his side had a shocker in the second half of their 4-0 defeat by Swansea last weekend. In many ways, though, that was not the worst thing that could have happened. The Black Cats got away with it in the first half at the Liberty Stadium but, after the interval, we saw how low they are and how low they are going. If they had been battered and somehow sneaked a draw in that game then it would have been something of a false dawn. Instead, Poyet now knows first hand what he is up against.
He will have looked at his players before, during and after the Swansea game and you always see more of what your players are made of when your team is struggling. Poyet will have had his say to the players already and he probably won’t have to add anything before this game. Even the ones who arrived in the summer will know they have to beat Newcastle, so I would expect an improved performance from them.
Newcastle’s performance with 10 men in their draw with Liverpool will have pleased Alan Pardew. They are safely in mid-table and I would expect them to stay there. The interesting thing for me is what the Magpies do when the transfer window opens in January because, by then, they will not have bought a player for 12 months. This is a game that is always almost impossible to predict, but this time I can see it ending up in a draw. The only thing I know for sure is that it will be fiery. 1-1.
Newcastle United have had an inconsistent start to the 2013/2014 Barclay’s Premier League season; at times we have been very good and others very poor. However we have produced two good performances on the trot now, so hopefully we are starting to find some sort of consistency. Sunderland, on the other hand, have had an atrocious start to the season. The table below compares the starts that the two North East clubs have made.
Both teams have unfavourable goal differences, with Newcastle on -3 and Sunderland on -15. The Man City away game has made a key impact to our goal difference rather than a lack of goals, excluding that game we’ve scored one more than we have conceded. Alan Pardew will see the derby as an opportunity to correct our goal difference.
Points wise Newcastle have 11 whereas Sunderland have only the 1. This has left Sunderland cast adrift at the bottom of the table, while Newcastle are sitting comfortably in mid table. The graph below shows the points accumulation to date of Newcastle and Sunderland over the course of the season.
Sunderland got their only point of the season away to Southampton back when Di Canio was still manager, so obviously this graph doesn’t make very good reading for them. It’s hard to show much progress when you only have a single instance of earning points over 8 games. As for Newcastle, this reads a lot better. It shows steady progress throughout the season although periods of no gain are evident at times.
The derby will be Poyet’s second game in charge of Sunderland, with Ball having managed the previous two games in an interim role following Di Canio’s sacking after just five games in charge of Sunderland this season.
Alan Pardew has been ever-present in the Newcastle dugout this season, which He off out of favour amongst large sections of fans, although he appears to be winning around many of them again following a promising start to the season and a noticeable change in style to a more attacking brand of football as we’ve returned to the 4-3-3 and are having great success with Rémy on the left. Poyet meanwhile has a lot to prove to the Sunderland fans to show that he is going to be an improvement over his predecessors.
Newcastle have scored 11 goals this season, with Sunderland scoring just 5. The chart below shows each team’s top scorers.
Rémy leads the way with 5 goals this season and is the only player from either side who you could describe as having been anywhere near prolific. Sunderland themselves only have 5 goals this season, and this lack of goal-scoring is half of the reason why Sunderland are bottom of the league. The other half being that they are yet to keep a clean sheet this season, shipping in 20 goals over just 8 games. This gives them an average of 0.625 goals for and 2.5 against per game. When you aren’t scoring regularly and have an inability to stop the opposition scoring, you find that you will struggle to pick points up.
This will be the 149th match between these rivals. The table below shows the record of the previous 148.
It should be noted that this record applies to Tyne-Wear/Wear-Tyne derbies in all competitions, not just the league. However I have added in what would be a points tally if they were all league games in the modern era. I have done this is to allow for easier reading as you can clearly compare the results from the two sides.
Historically Newcastle have had the better of Sunderland over the years, winning 53 of the 148 encounters, while Sunderland have won 46 and there has been 49 draws. Although Newcastle edge it in terms of games won, it is still very close and the number of draws highlights over the years this has been a close rivalry despite the periods of dominance each side may have had other the other.
The last 6 games between the two teams have finished as follows:
NUFC 5 – 1 SAFC
SAFC 1 – 1 NUFC
SAFC 0 – 1 NUFC
NUFC 1 – 1 SAFC
SAFC 1 – 1 NUFC
NUFC 0 – 3 SAFC
Over the last 6 games it has been very tight between the teams, with half of them ending as draws. Of the rest, Newcastle have won 2 to Sunderland’s 1. That single win, however, was the most recent encounter between the two sides, as Di Canio’s men ran out 3-0 winners during a dismal Newcastle performance at St James’ last April. With that in mind Newcastle have a score to settle and the players will be all out for revenge in this game. Hopefully we will set the record straight.
Newcastle performed very well in their last game, and Alan Pardew normally leaves his sides unchanged after impressive displays, although the suspended Yanga-Mbiwa obviously will have to be replaced. However, given the nature of this derby match, there may be some more changes. Perhaps the mackem slayer will make a glorious return to the starting eleven, although it is more likely that Shola will feature from the bench. From Pardew’s comments in the media this week though, I do get the impression that Saylor for Yanga-Mbiwa will be the only change. My predicted Newcastle United line-up is:
Popular statistics and infographics website WhoScored have predicted the line-ups of both teams. They also seem to be under the impression that Saylor for Mapou will be the only Newcastle change. They have compiled a statistical comparison based on there predicted line ups.
Unsurprisingly, the predicted Newcastle line-up has had a higher average rating than the Sunderland one this season. Newcastle’s key players according to the WhoScored ratings are Remy, Debuchey and Iron Mike, with those 3 having the highest average rating of the Newcastle players likely to start. For Sunderland Cuellar, Giaccherini and Cattermole are the key players.
WhoScored have monitored the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams over the course of the season and used them to predict likely outcomes.
Sunderland’s weakest points are defending counter attacks and defending long shots, which lines up perfectly with Newcastle’s strengths scoring from counter attacks and long shots. So that is a good sign for Newcastle. With Cabaye in the Newcastle side, Sunderland are in constant danger of conceding a long shot whenever Cabaye picks up possession in the final third. Other calculated likely outcomes by WhoScored are that Newcastle will score from a counter attack, Newcastle will dominate in the air and that Newcastle will score from a wing play situation.
The referee for the game is Lee Probert. This will be his first Newcastle United game of the season, with his last Newcastle game being our visit to Loftus Road at the back end of last season, which we won 2-1 as Probert gave a penalty kick to each side and sent Rob Elliot off late on. That was Probert’s 8th Newcastle game and the only game he’s officiated that we have won.
He has refereed Sunderland on one occasion this season, the 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. Probert was left with no choice but to show a red card to O’Shea after his calamitous attempt at a tackle, resulting in a penalty kick which Palace converted.
The Newcastle end is sold out and has been for some time, however there are tickets still available for home fans, although you have to have previous purchase history to get one. It’s not advised to sit in the home end as stewards and police are incredibly strict these days and you’ll get kicked out while celebrating a Newcastle goal. And you’d be surrounded by empty seats and mackems.
Hopefully both sets of fans are better behaved than they have been in recent years. Sunderland fans are expected to sing about wishing Steven Taylor is dead and a version of the Blaydon Races with lyrics replaced to mock a disabled Newcastle fan who was a victim of a missile attack from Sunderland supporters. Newcastle fans are likely to once again sing about Jimmy Saville and Maggie Thatcher being Cattermole’s parents. All will be good though if these chants are the only vile twist on the day. After horsegate, which recently resulted in a 12 month spell in prison for the offender, and Newcastle fans causing trouble last year as well as Sunderland throwing missiles from level 7, tougher policing is expected and hopefully the day will pass safely without anyone being attacked.
Northumbria Police are reminding fans to plan their travel arrangements ahead of the Wear-Tyne derby game on Sunday. They are asking people to use official club coaches or public transport. The official coach will cost £4 but everything raised will go to charity.
Special Metro services will run on the match day this weekend. These will only stop at Central Station and St Peter’s and are for Newcastle supporters only. They leave at 12:16 and 12:24. Northern Rail are also providing a service for supporters direct from Newcastle Central Station to St Peter’s, leaving at 11:52 and arriving at 12:17. Those travelling by Metro or train must enter Central Station by the entrance near the long stay car park and Centurion bar. Normal Metro service is running along with the additional ones, however fans are asked to avoid these trains and travel on the specially arranged services. For the second year running we are housed in the North Stand which is the one furthest away from St Peter’s Metro station.
Newcastle fans will have access to the bars on level 1 and level 3. Before the game and at half time the bar at level 1 will serve alcohol to Newcastle fans but the one at level 3 won’t. After the match, Newcastle fans will be locked inside the stadium while the police clear the area of home fans. At this point Newcastle fans will be given access to the bars on level 1 and level 3 and alcohol will be served in both. After the game additional Metros will be put on to take the Newcastle fans back to Central Station.
The most important bit of pre-match information however is to remember that the clocks go back one hour at 2am on Sunday morning as BST gives way to GMT. Make sure you don’t miss kick off!
Origins of the Rivalry
The rivalry between Newcastle and Sunderland has been around long before football. Below is a snippet from an article on the history of the rivalry by Richard Stonehouse.
In the epoch before the 1600s, King Charles I had consistently awarded the East of England Coal Trade Rights (try to contain your excitement) to Newcastle’s traders, which rendered the Wearside coal merchants redundant. People died because of it. Coal and ships were Sunderland’s raison d’etre.
But when, in 1642, the English Civil War started, and Newcastle, with good reason, supported the Crown, Sunderland, because of the trading inequalities, sided with Cromwell’s Parliamentarians, and the division began.
It became a conflict between Sunderland’s socialist republicanism, against Newcastle’s loyalist self-interest. A purposeful enmity if ever there was one. Unlike rivalries between other clubs, the differences between Newcastle and Sunderland date back to fighting based on the necessity to live and feed one’s children, and benefit one’s city.
The political differences between the two culminated with the battle of Boldon Hill. A loyalist army from Newcastle and County Durham gathered to fight an anti-monarchist Sunderland and Scottish army at a field equidistant between the two towns.
The joint Scottish and Sunderland army won – and Newcastle was colonised by the Scottish. It was subsequently used as a Republican military base for the rest of war.
And while this is a lucid basis for two cities hating each other, it has, like every other modern-day derby, developed profoundly irrational manifestations.
It’s a really interesting article and here is the link for those who are interested in the history.
Derby days to remember
Back to the football rivalry now. Here is a collection of some of the best derby memories,from a Newcastle perspective of course, in recent history. Liam O’Brien’s free kick, Ryan Taylor’s free kick, Scott Sellars’ free kick, Beardsley’s hat-trick, the 5-1, Cabaye’s goal and of course Big Al’s 206th and final Newcastle United goal. Enjoy.
TV & Radio Coverage (via nufc.com)
Sky Sports 1
Al Jazeera Sport +10/HD6
Al Jazeera Sport +9/HD1
beIN Sport 3 Premier
C+ Family (Poland) +HD
C+ Sport (France) +HD
Canal+ Deportes 2 HD
Digi Sport 1 (Hungary) +HD
Fox Sports (Italy) +HD
Fox Sports 1 (Australia)
Fox Sports 2 HD (Ned)
Guangdong Sports (China)
LTV Sports 2 (Cyprus)
MTV 3 Max Sport 1
NBC Sports Live / Network (USA)
Nova Sport (Bulgaria) +HD
NTV plus Futbol +HD
OTE Sport 1 +HD (Greece)
Sky Sport 1 (Austria/Germany)
Slovak Sport TV2
Sport Klub 1 (Cro/Serb/Slov)
TV2 Sport Premium HD
ViaPlay +HD (Den/Swe)
Viasat Football (Sweden) +HD
BBC Radio Newcastle
Just about every pub in and around Tyne & Wear will be showing the game. Also plenty of streams will appear on the day.
In Shola we trust! Here’s to 3 points.
How do you think the Wear-Tyne derby will go? Or just looking for somewhere to discuss the match? Have your say in our match discussion thread here.