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The Tyne-Wear derby is a difficult match to predict at the best of times, but it's particularly hard to call this year.
Newcastle have enjoyed a great season so far and sit in sixth place in the Premier League. Sunderland are only in ninth place, ten points behind Newcastle, but might be higher up in the table had Martin O'Neill taken control of the team earlier in the season.
Indeed, the recent form of both teams is remarkably similar. Newcastle have won three, lost two and drawn one of their last six games, while Sunderland have won three and lost three.
However, both teams are coming into the match on the back of disappointing performances.
Sunderland were hammered 4-0 at West Brom, while Newcastle threw away a two goal lead against Wolves at St James Park in a game that ended in a draw.
The game is also interesting tactically.
Newcastle have been lining-up in a 4-4-2 of late, with both Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse up-front, while Sunderland may well play in a 4-4-1-1, with Stephane Sessegnon playing as a support striker behind either Fraizer Campbell or Nicklas Bendtner. Alternatively, Sessegnon could continue up-front on his own in a 4-5-1 which is practically a 4-6-0.
Newcastle could thus go into the match with more firepower, but could see themselves outnumbered in midfield.
That said, I predict that Sunderland may well go through a rough patch of form after their 4-0 beating in the Midlands, and that the combination of Ba and Cisse could prove too much for their defence.
Moreover, while Sunderland will have more players in midfield, I still fancy Cheik Tiote and Yohan Cabaye to take control of the game.
So, I predict a 2-0 or 2-1 Newcastle win.