Sunderland go into the Tyne-Wear derby this weekend just 2 points above the relegation zone, whilst Newcastle are only 6 points off a European spot. The reverse fixture saw Sunderland win 2-1 thanks to a late strike from Fabio Borini. A Sunderland win would be the first time since 1922/23 that they have won 3 in a row against their fierce local rivals.
Sunderland will be on a high after earning a vital 3 points against fellow strugglers Stoke midweek in a 1-0 win. This took them out of the relegation zone above West Ham. Sunderland have earned an impressive 11 points from their last 6 games.
Adam Johnson has been in good form of late, having scored 5 in his last 3 league games having only scored once this season prior to his current purple patch. Johnson has attempted 24 dribbles and put in 15 crosses this season, as well as attempting more shots than any of his teammates with 22. Adam Johnson is 15/4 to score at any time this weekend with 888sport.com.
On loan Fabio Borini will hoping to put his mark on this fixture again from a wide position. In midweek he dribbled 6 times, with only Hatem Ben Arfa attempting more with 7. Borini has also had more shots on target than any of his Sunderland teammates with 11 this term.
Vito Mannone was one of the busier keepers in midweek, making a total of 6 saves. Only Adrian of West Ham made more with 9 according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
Only 3 teams (Cardiff, Palace and Norwich) have scored less than Sunderland’s 22 goals this season. Adam Johnson is top scorer with 6, whilst their strikers have only scored 6 goals between them. Jozy Altidore has a decent shot accuracy rate with 67%, but has only managed 1 goal from his 15 shots.
Newcastle drew 0-0 with Norwich midweek. Newcastle only managed 3 shots on target, two from Loic Remy and one from Ben Arfa, and the final result against the Canaries means they have now only won 1 of their last 5 league outings.
Yohan Cabaye’s move to PSG will be a huge loss for Newcastle, as both he and Moussa Sissoko have been vital in midfield for Newcastle this season. Prior to his departure, Cabaye had had more shots this season than any other Newcastle player, and only Sissoko has made more passes in the opponents half (444) than Cabaye (434).
Loic Remy’s loan spell from QPR is certainly going to plan for Alan Pardew. He is Newcastle’s top scorer this season with 11 goals and only Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero and Daniel Sturridge can better Remy’s shots on target total of 25.
Matthieu Debuchy has so far made more total defensive contributions (blocks, interceptions, clearances, tackles won) than any other Newcastle player with 221. This includes an impressive 49 interceptions and 97 clearances, both Newcastle squad-highs.