The Tyne-Wear derby is rarely a snooze-fest, and with Sunderland last season recording only their sixth double over their bitter rivals (their first since the 1966/67 season), you can be sure that this festive encounter will be fare from a polite exchange of gifts.
Newcastle, having stuck with manager Alan Pardew during what was a horrendous run of results, currently find themselves eighth in the table, and the only team so far to have beaten leaders Chelsea, in any competition. Fortress St James is back with a bang, and they will be fired up for the visit of Sunderland, who are without a win since the beginning of November.
Gus Poyet’s side, who sit seven points behind the Magpies in 15th, have come out the other side of a difficult run of games, having faced Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in one difficult week. Two draws and a loss is nothing to scoff at, however, with the high flying West Ham also held to a stalemate last time around. It should be a tight one at St James’ Park; one that could go either way.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Sunderland
888sport Killer Bet: Jordi Gomez 12/1 First Goalscorer
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As if we needed more reason to bet away, with a mouthwatering array of matches coming thick and fast over the Christmas period, starting with Gameweek 17. Liverpool take on Arsenal at Anfield, City and Palace face off in the early game on Saturday, and Chelsea travel to Stoke on Monday. Fancy a flutter?