Newcastle v Sunderland
By Dean Farley
Saturday 13 Apr 2013 10:10:00
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Newcastle v Sunderland
14th April 
Referee - Howard Webb

The day has arrived; the day we all look for first when the fixtures come out at the start of the season. Of course, I am talking about the Tyne/Wear derby, and this year, it could mean more than ever. 
    With both teams still not safe from the drop, this game could prove to be massive in the outcome at the end of the season. 
    Yoan Gouffran and Mathieu Debuchy are eligible to play after sitting out Thursday's Europa League tie against Benfica and the latter may be fit to return after sustaining an injury during last month's defeat at Wigan.
    Fabricio Coloccini and Davide Santon miss out, while Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic remain sidelined. However, both Steven Taylor and Cheick Tiote are expected to play after they failed to feature against Benfica.

    Speaking on Friday, Alan Pardew confirmed that Hatem Ben Arfa had suffered no adverse reaction to playing against Benfica and would be benched on Sunday. Ben Arfa changed the game against Benfica in midweek, showing us he is up for this game, even if he is set to start on the bench. 

    The Mackem Mussolini is without both Steven Fletcher and Lee Cattermole, sidelined by injury for the remainder of the season. Craig Gardner is suspended and there are doubts over Titus Bramble and David Vaughan but Danny Graham and Carlos Cuellar should be OK.

    Gathering just three points from a nine game winless run, the Mackems arrive having kept a single clean sheet in their last dozen Premier League away fixtures.

    The 148th derby match sees Newcastle looking to boost their win total of 54, while preventing victory number 45 for their foes. There have been 49 stalemates to date, with United netting 221 times and conceding 214.
    Victory for the Magpies would be their fifth consecutive home success in the Premier League - something they haven't achieved since Bobby Robson was in charge during the 2003/04 season. 
In the last ten at home against the SMB, Newcastle have: 

Won 4
Drawn 4
Lost 2

Howay the lads!


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