Dick Advocaat is set to take charge of Sunderland for his first taste of the Wear-Tyne derby. Historically this game is a feisty affair and with Sunderland scrapping for their lives at the bottom of the table, will the presence of their new manager prove to be the inspiration for a much-needed victory over their North-East rivals?
As correctly predicted by myself in an earlier match preview, Sunderland succumbed to an 88th minute Diafra Sakho goal as they lost 1-0 to West Ham. There were significant signs of improvement from Advocaat’s first game in charge as The Black Cats defended stoutly for the majority of the game. However, the Dutchman was left to rue Jermaine Defoe’s glaring miss with the game still level. Sunderland have recorded just one league victory from thirteen and have scored just once in their last seven games. Advocaat will be desperate for victory in the derby to restore some confidence in his beleaguered troops. They will however take heart from the fact that they are unbeaten in 6 against the Magpies.
With just 8 games remaining in the season, Sunderland sit on 26 points and are perilously close to the relegation zone with Burnley breathing down their necks, one point behind on 25. Advocaat will be aware that this is a must-win game as much for the player’s confidence as it is for the 3 points.
John Carver’s men come into the match on a 3-game losing streak and do not look as threatening as they did earlier in the season. They have not managed back-to-back victories since their 5-game winning streak from mid-October until mid-November. Carver has won just 2 of his 8 Premier League matches since taking charge, but surely he will fire his men up for the trip to Sunderland.
Newcastle sit 9 points above their rivals in 12th place and although they are not yet mathematically safe from relegation, a victory in the Wear-Tyne derby would bring them closer to survival. Their form of late is almost as bad as Sunderland’s, with just 1 win from their past 7 in the league. However, in their previous 20 matches against teams positioned below them in the table, The Magpies have won 10, drawn 3 and lost 7.
The Wear-Tyne derby will surely be a hard fought clash with plenty of tackles flying in, but who will come out on top?
Derbies such as this often see the formbooks thrown out the window. Players know the importance of the fixture to the fans and as such they will put their bodies on the line to ensure victory. Given the improvement in Sunderland’s defensive display against West Ham and the fact that they have won their last 4 meetings with The Magpies, I am going to defy the formbooks and make my first Sunderland v Newcastle prediction is a Sunderland win. Odds of 8/5 can be found with Coral.
Both teams have a particularly bad goals-to-games ratio this season and given that this match will no doubt be fought tooth and nail, I am predicting a very low scoring affair. Sunderland’s defence has improved, but their strikers just couldn’t put the ball away against West Ham. Therefore my second football betting tip is for there to be under 2.5 goals. Odds of 4/6 can be found with Bet Victor.
Mike Dean is set to referee a derby which has produced some full-blooded affairs in recent times. The last meeting in December provided eight yellow cards, and with Sunderland fighting for their Premier League survival, I can see this match boiling slightly out of control. Mike Dean has shown 100 yellow and 6 red cards in his 22 matches this season and I can see him showing another red in this one. Therefore my third and final Sunderland v Newcastle betting tip is for there to be a sending off in the match. Odds of 7/4 can be found with Bet365.
Sunderland to win – 8/5 with Coral: signup bet £5 get £20 free.
Under 2.5 goals – 4/6 with Bet Victor: signup get £25 free.
Sending off in the match – 7/4 with Bet365: signup get £200 free.
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