Newcastle and Sunderland will meet in the 141st Tyne-Wear derby this December, with the Black Cats searching for a record fourth consecutive victory.
Gus Poyet’s men have dominated the recent history between the two sides, winning the last three matches, scoring eight goals and conceding just one.
The Magpies had lost just just one of the previous 16 meetings prior to the recent slump and Alan Pardew and the Toon Army will be desperate to see the miserable run come to an end.
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After a frustrating couple of years on Tyneside, Pardew invested heavily during the summer transfer window.
Ajax’s Siem De Jong arrived along with Monaco forward Emmanuel Riviere and Montpellier playmaker Remy Cabella.
Argentina international Facundo Ferreyra, Dutch World Cup right-back Daryl Janmaat and Tenerife striker Ayoze Perez were also brought in.
While Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Hatem Ben Arfa have all departed while Loic Remy rejected a permanent move to the club.
The most controversial deal of the summer, however, saw geordie midfielder Jack Colback join the Magpies from Sunderland.
Turning down a new contract at the Stadium of Light, the 24-year-old reportedly rejected a better offer from West Ham United to sign for his home town club.
And the move did not go down well with Sunderland, who released a scathing statement claiming his exit had ‘left a bitter taste’.
His transfer will add a further dimension to the game with the visitors knowing they can make history with the win.
The Black Cats 3-0 victory on Tyneside last season secured their first treble of Tyne-Wear derbies since 1923.
And Sunderland have never won four matches in a row between the two sides.
The last two meetings at St James’, meanwhile, have both finished 3-0 to Sunderland.
Fabio Borini’s penalty, Adam Johnson’s deflected effort and Colback’s smart finish consigned the Magpies to defeat in February.
The Italian also netted the winning goal between the two sides at the Stadium of Light, after Steven Fletcher’s opener had been cancelled out by Debuchy.
Borini, however, rejected a permanent move to Sunderland during the summer and Colback, of course, switched from Red & White to Black & White.
While Johnson, another Newcastle-fan, also netted during Sunderland’s 3-0 win under Paolo Di Canio in 2013.
Poyet’s men have lost just one of the last six matches between the two sides, with three wins and two draws.
Last season, meanwhile, was the first year since 2008/09 that neither match produced a red card.
While the Uruguayan enjoys a great record against Newcastle beating the Magpies twice during his time at Brighton & Hove Albion and twice with Sunderland.
One guarantee should be good goals, with the last goalless draw between the two sides coming all the way back in May 1990.
Since then the two sides have met 28 with the last three meetings all producing over 2.5 goals.
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