It’s one of the most hotly contested matchups across the country, the Tyne-Wear derby from North East England is here.
Most notably, Jack Colback starts for Newcastle after spending 16 years in the Sunderland organization, but now the boyhood Magpie supporter will get to play for the other end of the derby.
He’ll be alongside the physical presence of Cheick Tiote as this one kicks off from St. James Park live at 8:30am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Newcastle’s leading scorer Papiss Cisse begins this one on among the substitutes bench as his manager Alan Pardew looks to avoid becoming the first on his side ever in the history of this heated rivalry to lose four in a row to their hated opponents. It’s been a whirlwind season for Pardew, with a woeful start to the campaign resulting in calls for his head, and while a maddening uptick in form saw the Magpies soar up to the top half of the table, it’s gone south again as they’ve won just one in their last four.
While Cisse sits in favor of the more fit Sammy Ameobi and Ayoze Perez, Pardew does have Jak Alnwick, Daryl Janmaat, Moussa Sissoko, and Steven Taylor all available after recent injury questions.
Meanwhile Sunderland will have the reliable Lee Cattermole in the midfield as he will look to lock down the creative Sissoko down the channels.
Steven Fletcher returns to the striker role, replacing the struggling American Jozy Altidore, but Emanuele Giacherrini still is not fit from a long-term ankle injury despite speculation he could return, with the Italian missing since late September. Patrick van Aanholt is also unavailable as he returns from a dislocated shoulder.
Newcastle: Alnwick; Janmaat, Coloccini, S.Taylor, Dummett; Sissoko, Colback, Tiote; Gouffran, Perez, Ameobi.
Bench: Woodman, Haidara, Williamson, Cabella, Armstrong, Riviere, Cisse.
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Vergini, Reveillere, O’Shea, Brown, Cattermole, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson, Wickham, Fletcher.
Bench: Bridcutt, Rodwell, Altidore, Alvarez, Coates, Buckley, Mannone.