Sunderland will need to make it five straight over Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle if they wish to pull themselves out of immediate danger at the bottom of the table.
The two heated foes will take to the Stadium of Light at 11am ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra. Newcastle seems to be safe from the drop but interim manager John Carver has still seen his side to three straight losses, so both sides have trends to buck.
For Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland, Lee Cattermole is back from a two-match suspension, and Billy Jones makes a return to the back line after missing nearly two months with a hamstring injury. However, the Black Cats are still missing Wes Brown and Emmanuel Giaccherini due to injury, while Will Buckley surprisingly returns from a knee problem to make the bench.
Carver, meanwhile, has to deal with news that Massadio Haidara will no longer be available for the rest of the way due to knee surgery, and his team is severely thinned from injury and suspension. Cheick Tiote, Steven Taylor, Paul Dummett, and Siem de Jong are all out injured, while Papiss Cisse remains banned for spitting on an opponent and Fabricio Coloccini continues to serve his red card suspension.
Anything goes in a Tyne-Wear derby, and nothing sums that sentiment up than Sunderland’s current streaks. The Black Cats have won four straight in this fixture, while they’ve gone unbeaten in six, but come into today’s matchup winless in eight straight matches across all competitions.
Sunderland: Pantilimon; Jones, O’Shea, Vergini, van Aanholt; Larsson, Cattermole, Gomez; Fletcher, Wickham, Defoe.
Bench: Bridcutt, Johnson, Reveillere, Graham, Coates, Buckley, Mannone.
Newcastle: Krul, R.Taylor, Janmaat, Williamson, Colback, Sissoko, Gutierrez, Gouffran, Ameobi, Cabella, Perez.
Bench: Elliot, Anita, Abeid, Kemen, Obertan, Riviere, Armstrong.