Sunderland will be looking to put a massive blow in the hope of Newcastle United to qualify for the Champions League for the first time after a long time. Newcastle United are currently in a race with Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool in order to finish within the top four, which will ensure them Champions League spot next season. This would be a major aspect in the north-east of England, which recently was in danger of losing all the three teams from the top flight. Sunderland were the only representatives of the north-east teams a few seasons ago, but now they will be having the responsibility of to prevent Newcastle United from making it into the Champions League.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill suffered his first defeat of his short tenure at the Stadium of Light last weekend at the hands of West Brom. The in-form West Brom team managed to beat Sunderland 4-0 in the match. Prior to the defeat at the hands of West Brom, Sunderland were one of the best teams in the Premier league under Martin O’Neill averaging around 2.2 points per game. The defeat at the hands of West Brom has certainly put the brakes on their revival, but Sunderland to have the opportunity to halt Newcastle United’s progress as well this weekend.
“It’s a ferocious derby which I’m sure will be played at a great pace. We’ll be be ready for it, and if we perform to our capabilities we can win. It’s a big occasion and a big game and we’ve got to be ready for it by applying the same approach which has seen us do relatively well over the last couple of months,” Martin O’Neill said ahead of his first Tyneside derby. Newcastle United are currently in the sixth position in the table, while Sunderland are 12th.