Newcastle (Probable, 4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, Williamson, Colocinni, Santon; R Taylor, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutiérrez; Ba, Cissé.
Out: Sa Ameobi (knee), Marveaux (groin).
Tests: Cissé (groin), Sh Ameobi (illness),
Sunderland (Probable, 4-5-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, O’Shea, Richardson; Larsson, Gardner, Cattermole, Colback, McClean; Sessegnon.
Out: Westwood (wrist), Vaughan (ankle), Angeleri, Brown (both knee), Bramble (Achilles), .
Tests: Sessegnon (flight delays), Bardsley (calf), Larsson (illness), Bendtner (ankle).
Despite withdrawing from the Senegal squad in midweek with a groin problem, Papiss Cissé has been training with the squad this week and it looks as though he will be available to feature, in what will be his first Tyne-Wear Derby.
Cheick Tiote did not train with team today, having been away on international duty with the Ivory Coast this week. However, it is reported that he was only being rested by Pardew, in the hope that he’ll be able to give his all on Sunday.
Shola Ameobi, who has has scored the most number of goals against the mackems (6), is set to be sidelined due to illness.
Defender Steven Taylor and midfielders Sammy Ameobi and Sylvain Marveaux remain on the sidelines with the respective long-term injuries.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill will assess striker Stephane Sessegnon ahead of Sunday’s derby trip to Newcastle after he was delayed on his return from international action.
The 27 year-old was not on Wearside on Friday morning following a problem with his flights back from Benin’s African Nations Cup 0-0 qualifier draw in Ethiopia on Wednesday.
Sweden midfielder Sebastian Larsson is expected to be available after complaining of feeling unwell before he scored twice in his country’s 3-1 victory in Croatia, as is striker Nicklas Bendtner, but goalkeeper Keiren Westwood is out and Craig Gordon is likely to take his place on the bench. Fullback Phil Bardsley remains a doubt.
Sunderland may have finished above Newcastle three years running, but they have lost eight of the last 14 games against their local rivals and have not enjoyed a victory on Tyneside since 2001.
Martin O’Neill is already hugely popular given the vast improvement in results since he became manager in December, but he knows a win on Sunday would do wonders for the club’s self-esteem.
Newcastle, though, remain in the hunt for Europe, they have lost just twice at home this season and have the marginally better record in Tyne-Wear derbies 53 to 44 wins to reassure them. It’s going to be a close one to call.
Newcastle will come into the game confident, unbeaten in their last six home Premier League games against Sunderland, however the likes of James Mclean could prove troublesome for the Newcastle United defence, with 23 year-old Irish lad proving his worth in the recent FA cup fixture against Arsenal, frequently getting the better of Bacary Sagna.
Match Prediction: 3-1
I think that Newcastle’s Senegalese strike force will get the better of the bad-tempered Sunderland defence. I’m predicting goals from Ryan Taylor (free kick), Demba Ba and a penalty from the loyal Shola Ameobi (who else?!). A consolation may be scored by Sunderland, but Newcastle know the importance of this game, and I reckon they’ll rise to the occasion.
Howay the Lads