The Wear-Tyne derby is upon us this weekend and it has been a Premier League clash they have been anticipating in the North East ever since the fixture list was announced on June 19.
Newcastle supporters were wounded by the heavy defeats they suffered to Sunderland and Liverpool in consecutive home games in April last season. There was an expectation when their side came up against the same opponents this season they would see a reaction.
They have done half the job as they managed a highly creditable 2-2 draw against Liverpool in their last fixture.The Magpies are currently contented with their start to the season but a win in this game would really be an icing on the cake. Sunderland on the other hand, are in freefall. When the Black Cats won the last derby game the feel good factor continued into their next home game v Everton, but they have never pushed on since.
Di Canio sliding on his knees must be a distant memory to some supporters in red and white, but similar heroics from Sunderland this weekend could kick start their season. They remain adrift at the bottom of the Premier League, but Gus Poyet knows that the form book goes out the window this game. He is aware that victory could change his side’s outlook and fortunes this campaign.