Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Sunderland V Newcastle United
Sunday 5th April. 4PM. Sky Sports 1
The Wear-Tyne derby is always a monumental occasion and all eyes will be glued to Sunday’s action at the Stadium of Light.
With both teams struggling for form, there’s more than local bragging rights at stage – particularly for the hosts who are currently caught in a fierce battle for survival.
There might be a lack of talent amongst the sides, but there won’t be any lack of excitement. Bring it on.
Advocaat To Win Fans Over?
New Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has certainly jumped in at the deep end as he looks to rescue the Black Cats from relegation, but the Dutchman could become an instant hero on Wearside by masterminding a victory over the arch enemy.
If Advocaat’s first match in charge, a slender loss to West Ham, is any sort of barometer then the Black Cats certainly possess the right attitude for this relegation scrap. Their main problem, though, is putting the ball in the net as Jermain Defoe, Steven Fletcher, Connor Wickham and Danny Graham continue to struggle for goals.
In fact, Sunderland have scored just one in their past seven matches. They’ll be hoping to use the crowd generated energy to end that drought against the Magpies. Whilst they certainly haven’t excelled in the defensive third, the hosts will fancy their chances of a clean sheet against their injury hit opponents.
The nerves will swirl around the Stadium of Light, but they’ll be optimistic of bagging what would easily become the most rewarding three points of the season. Expect an energetic start from the hosts.
Injury Hit Newcastle On The Rocks[quote_right]The Black Cats have won four successive league derbies against Newcastle United for the first time in their history. Get on a Sunderland win at 8/5 with Bet365[/quote_right]It’s a good thing that Newcastle’s safety is assured, because the Magpies have been simply woeful over the past couple of months.
The Geordies have really struggled under temporary boss John Carver, although his situation hasn’t been helped be the long list of injuries. Additionally, suspensions to skipper Fabricio Coloccini as well as top scorer Papiss Cisse will also make Newcastle’s task all the more difficult.
Newcastle have won just once since the start of February and will be equally worried by their recent performances in the derby as Sunderland boast a four-game winning streak heading into this latest episode. The Black Cats also kept clean sheets on three of those four occasions, including December’s 1-0 triumph at St James’ Park.
The local rivalry might ignite a spark from the visitors, but if they play like they have in recent weeks then it’ll no doubt be five defeats in six for Carver’s men.
Sunderland V Newcastle United Betting
The bookmakers have endured real difficulty picking a likely outcome, which is reflected by Bet365’s odds. Sunderland have been priced as 6/4 favourites but with both the draw and Newcastle win only available at 21/10, there clearly aren’t any strong feelings towards a result.
As much as we’d love this to be a seven-goal thriller, it really is difficult to envisage many strikes between two equally out-of-form frontlines.
Neither team is high in confidence and the added pressure of needing a positive result against their fiercest rivals could contribute to a slightly apprehensive affair. Even without goals, it should be an intriguing battle, but we don’t think the excitement will come from goalmouth action.
Under 2.25 goal line @ 9/10 with Bet365
Of course a derby of this magnitude always has the potential to deviate from the script, but we do think that one goal could be enough to win this one. Sunderland are surely the most likely candidate.
The impetus is entirely with the hosts as they look to impress their new boss by dragging themselves away from the bottom three. Perhaps this will be the day that Defoe proves his worth at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland to win 1-0 @ 7/1 with Bet365