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Premier League

  • 14 April 2013
  • • 12:00
  • • St. James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 52355
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Newcastle - Sunderland Preview: Survival at stake in vital Tyne-Wear derby

Both sides lie perilously close to the danger zone but with the Black Cats winless in nine games, Alan Pardew's men will look to capitalise on their strong home form this season

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Krul
Simpson, Williamson, Yanga-M'Biwa, Anita
Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Sissoko, Gutierrez
Gouffran
Cisse
SUNDERLAND

Mignolet
Bardsley, O'Shea, Kilgallon, Rose
Johnson, Larsson, Gardner, N'Diaye
Sessegnon
Graham

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is suffering from an injury crisis on top of just a three-day break after his side's Europa League exertions on Thursday night.

The Magpies are without captain Fabricio Coloccini, Davide Santon and Cheikh Tiote, though Hatem Ben Arfa - originally diagnosed as out for the season - has made a remarkable recovery and could play a part.

Steven Taylor is also an injury doubt, although Pardew remains hopeful he can feature on Sunday, while Ryan Taylor could also make his comeback from a knee injury.

The visitors, meanwhile, are without skipper Lee Cattermole and top scorer Steven Fletcher, both of whom have been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Wes Brown (knee) and Carlos Cuellar (ankle) are also unavailable, with John O'Shea and Matthew Kilgallon thereby expected to continue in central defence.

Up front, youngster Connor Wickham - who started the 2-1 defeat against Chelsea - could be preferred to Danny Graham, while James McClean is in contention to start ahead of Alfred N'Diaye down the left.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Ahead of Sunday's crunch clash, Newcastle sit five points clear of safety in 13th place, while Sunderland are level on points with 18th-placed Wigan having played a game more than the Latics.
  • Alan Pardew's men have won just two of their last five games, though the victories came in proverbial six-pointers against Fulham and Stoke.
  • Papiss Cisse (pictured right) scored an injury-time winner in both of Newcastle's recent wins to take his tally for the season to 12 goals - with eight of those coming in the Premier League.
  • The bulk of the Magpies' points this season have come from their home form. Pardew's side have won nine of their 16 games at St James' Park, as opposed to just one win in as many away matches.
  • Sunderland are without a win in nine league games. Their last victory came at the DW Stadium when they beat Wigan 3-2 in January.
  • The Black Cats' form on their travels this term is marginally better than that of their derby rivals but they have still fared poorly away from the Stadium of Light with just three away wins out of 16, having suffered nine defeats on the road.
  • Black Cats stopper Simon Mignolet has been in fine form this season, helping Sunderland to a total of nine clean sheets from their 32 games. The record is the ninth best in the division, while Newcastle's is the second worst with just five clean sheets.

Players to watch

M. Sissoko

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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  • 0
  • 0
Since joining the Magpies from Toulouse in January, the Frenchman's impact has been nothing short of immense. The 26-year-old's influence on games from the middle of the park alone has won Newcastle vital points, while the box-to-box midfielder is clearly unafraid to venture forward and make a difference in the penalty area. With a raucous home crowd set to act as the 12th man for their side on Sunday, the stage could well be set for Sissoko to produce another match-winning performance - one that could ensure his side's Premier League safety.

D. Graham

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Goals have been a huge problem for Sunderland this season with the Black Cats netting just 34 times in 32 games. Eleven of those have come from star striker Steven Fletcher but Paolo Di Canio will have to look elsewhere after the Scotland striker was ruled out for the season with a ligament injury. As such, the emphasis will be on January signing Graham to inflict the necessary damage if the visitors are to come away from St James' Park with goals and - most importantly - three desperately needed points.

Editor's Prediction

Tempers will fray in a fiery contest, with every ball undoubtedly being fought for until the final whistle, but Newcastle's form at St James' Park, coupled with Sunderland's hapless recent run, suggests the odds are in the home side's favour.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Newcastle United

Sunderland

Wins
0
1
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
Newcastle United FC Newcastle United
Draw
Sunderland AFC SUN
Sunderland AFC Sunderland
59%
24%
17%

Top 3 Predictions

Newcastle United FC NEW
2 - 1
Sunderland AFC SUN
Newcastle United FC NEW
1 - 1
Sunderland AFC SUN
Newcastle United FC NEW
2 - 0
Sunderland AFC SUN

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