NUFC vs SAFC Preview – Biggest Derby Ever?
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on March 19, 2016
On Sunday at 1:30 Newcastle United host Sunderland, a game which has been dubbed as many as a ‘winner stays up’ game. To say that there is a lot of history between these two sides in an understatement. For many this is the most passionate derby in the country, and as this match will potentially determine the season for both teams, means that this game is crucial for both teams. Premier League safety will most likely be determined for this game, so it is the biggest Tyne-Wear derby ever?
There have been a number of derby day memories that these two sides will remember. The last time Newcastle won a derby at St James’ Park was in 2010 where Newcastle triumphed 5-1. Kevin Nolan with a hat-trick and celebrating with his famous chicken dance. Since then, for Newcastle fans, it has been a tie to forget. Sunderland are currently enjoying 6 wins in a row against their neighbours. The latest coming earlier in the season where Sunderland cruised to a 3-0 win at the Stadium of Light. Newcastle United will be determined to end this devastating run against their rivals.
This fixture usually involves a sold-out 54,000 strong crowd of immensely passionate fans. Fans who will be determined not to see their side slip to a SEVENTH straight loss to Sunderland. Trouble has erupted in the past from this fixture, most memorably when a Newcastle fan punched a horse after a derby loss in 2013. The noise levels on Sunday will be immense. Rafael Benitez has just arrived on tyne-side and has recently sent an email out to all Newcastle fans. Rafa called for Newcastle fans to create ‘a wall of sound and a tide of Black and White’. This has increased anticipation for the derby and means that the already popular Benitez will receive an unforgettable welcome to St James’ Park, knowing full well that a win would cement his place in geordie hearts.
Both Sides are suffering injuries. Newcastle definitely more-so with 11 players out with injury. However, it is hoped that Chancel Mbemba will be able to take part in Sunday’s game as he trained with the squad on Friday. Sunderland will be without three players. Emmanuel Eboue, Duncan Watmore and Jermain Lens. Both teams have been in poor form, and with Newcastle playing Norwich the week after this would be the perfect time to turn a corner. Especially if they have any hope of surviving, they simply must win their next two games.
So, to conclude, this will be the biggest derby in a long, long time because of what is at stake. I definitely see this game as a ‘winner stays up’ game and this will mean there will be an unforgettable atmosphere. It will definitely not be one to miss. I can see this being a very cagey game because of what is at stake but I feel that Newcastle will just edge it. I think that the home fans will carry the team to victory, however, if Newcastle go a goal down early on, I can see heads dropping. The atmosphere could turn toxic and could negatively influence the team. This game will decide who survives. It will be an unbelievable spectacle for the neutral, for fans of the two sides, it will be the most nerve-racking game that they have ever witnessed.
My prediction – Newcastle to win 1-0.
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