The Black Cats look for their first win over Alan Pardew's side since the 2008-09 season, but they haven't managed to keep a clean sheet against the Tynesiders in over 20 years
Gardner, Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose
Johnson, Colback, Larsson, McClean
Simpson, Williamson, Perch,Santon
Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez
Sunderland are still without captain Lee Cattermole who will serve the final match of his three game suspension against Newcastle. Right-back Phil Bardsley (ankle) may come into contention following his return to fitness as may Wes Brown (knee) although the latter’s comeback is more unlikely.
Craig Gardner should continue at the back alongside John O’Shea and Carlos Cuellar, however, Danny Rose’s place in the Black Cats side could be in doubt following the aftermath of England Under-21s' game against Serbia in midweek where the 22-year-old was subjected to alleged racist abuse.
Boss Martin O’Neill has admitted the left-back’s state of mind would be assessed coming in to the game.
Newcastle may have Tim Krul (elbow) available for the first time since September 2 after stepping up his recovery this week, however, Steve Harper will likely retain his place between the sticks.
The Magpies may also be boosted by the return of skipper Fabricio Coloccini (hip) who has also been missing since September but again this game may come just too soon for him, the same situation may also apply with fellow centre-back Steven Taylor (shin), but Danny Simpson is now fully fit after recent fitness issues.
Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse and Cheikh Tiote should definitely be in Alan Pardew’s line-up despite going a through a traumatic incident of their own last week during Senegal’s game against the Ivory Coast, where supporters in Dakar rioted in the stands.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
This will be the 147th Tyne-Wear derby. Newcastle have fared better in this fixture than their rivals winning 53 times to Sunderland’s 44.
The Black Cats have won this fixture just twice at home since 1980, with their last win coming in 2008 where they ran out 2-1 victors.
Alan Pardew’s side are unbeaten in the last five games between the two sides, winning twice and drawing three times.
Sunderland haven’t kept a clean sheet in this fixture since 1990.
Martin O’Neill’s side have attempted the least number of shots (27) of the least number of shots of all the main leagues in Europe.
The Magpies are yet to win away from St James’ Park this season.
Six of Newcastle’s eight goals in the Premier League have come from striker Demba Ba (pictured right), while all of Sunderland’s five top-flight strikes this season have come from Steven Fletcher.
Both teams come into this game of the back of 3-0 defeats to teams from Manchester, as the Magpies were defeated at home by United while the Black Cats lost to City at the Etihad Stadium before the international break.
This will be Newcastle’s 700th game in the Premier League, they’ve won 279 of those games, losing 231 whilst drawing 189.
Sunderland’s Stephane Sessegnon has gone 14 top-flight games without finding the net with his last goal coming in March in a 3-1 win over QPR.