The early kick on today’s packed Sunday slate, Sunderland hosts Newcastle as Gus Poyet’s bunch attempt to remove themselves from the bottom of the Premier League table in the always-chippy Tyne-Wear Derby (Live on NBCSN at 9:30am ET, or online at NBC Sports Live Extra).
The local derby from Tyne and Wear in England’s northern reaches has been played since 1883, and this year it will consist of a little more meaning with Poyet looking to do his best early-season magic.
His first Premier League go didn’t end so well as Sunderland fell to Swansea 4-1 on the road, but now he will bring Sunderland home to the Stadium of Light for the first time.
In an attempt to shake things up, Poyet has recalled 34-year-old Wes Brown to roam in central defense. The English defender hasn’t played for Sunderland since January of 2012 thanks to multiple knee injuries sustained since.
Newcastle sit in 10th place with 11 points, and already have two away wins this season at Villa Park and Cardiff City Stadium. Hatem Ben Arfa has started the season on great form, bringing his two goals – both coming in 1-goal victories – with him to the Stadium of Light.
Both captain Fabricio Coloccini and center-back partner Steven Taylor were question marks heading into the matchup due to injuries, but neither of them are able to make the squad. Striker Loic Remy has five goals on the year.
Sunderland – Westwood; Bardsley, Dossena, O’Shea, Cuellar; Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson; Altidore, Fletcher.
Bench – Mannone, Ki, Gardner, Celustka, Giaccherini, Roberge, Borini.
Newcastle – Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Dummett, Santon; Sissoko, Tiote, Cabaye; Gouffran, Ben Arfa, Remy.
Bench -Elliot, Haidara, Anita, Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Shola Ameobi, Cisse.