Sunderland come into their second Tyne-Wear derby of the season buoyed a by a run of results which has seen them climb out of the relegation zone for the first time since August.
Meanwhile, hosts Newcastle will be looking to gain some revenge for their 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture back in October, and even more so for the 3-0 beating Sunderland memorably dished out at St. James’ Park last season. Yohan Cabaye has left the club, which is a major blow, but the Magpies now have to move on with what is still a talented squad, as they lie eighth in the Premier League.
Another goal from the in-form Adam Johnson proved enough for Sunderland to beat relegation rivals Stoke City on Wednesday, and it was a match that saw Gustavo Poyet achieve what looked somewhat unlikely when he took charge and move out of the bottom three, but the Uruguayan has overseen a total transformation at the Wearside club, and they are now playing with great confidence.
Looking for their first win over Sunderland since August 2011, Newcastle could give a debut to new loan signing Luuk de Jong, particularly as Loic Remy is suspended after being sent off at Norwich City on Tuesday. Captain Fabricio Coloccini also misses out.
Goalkeeper Kieren Westwood and defender Carlos Cuellar are still out for Sunderland, while Phil Bardsley is a doubt after being forced off against Stoke.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Newcastle