As Steve McClaren and Sam Allardyce prepare for their first every Tyne-Wear derby as Newcastle United and Sunderland bosses respectively, they will need to sort out defensive frailties to have any chance of claiming bragging rights.
They have the joint second worst defensive record in the league having both let in 19 this season, with only Norwich City on 20 more inept at keeping strikers at bay.
In Newcastle games this season spectators have been treated to 31 goals with the Black Cats just behind on 27.
That puts them at sixth and seventh in the most entertaining games stakes with only Leicester City, Norwich, Manchester City, West Ham and Chelsea a more likely source of goals.
Sunderland will be relying on their recent run against their biggest rivals, having won five in a row, but recent form suggests they could be in for a difficult Sunday.
In their last three games, the Magpies have scored nine and conceded ten, winning one, drawing one and losing one, while the Wearsiders have netted only twice and let in six in the same period, losing twice and drawing one.
Newcastle hitting Norwich for six shows they have a greater eye for goal which will see them get the edge, and backing them to win with both scoring has gone from 4/1 to 9/2.
When looking at who could break the deadlock in the derby, it is worth noting that Newcastle have opened the scoring in their last three games.
Ayoze Perez against Chelsea, Aleksandar Mitrovic at Man City and Georginio Wijnaldum in the 6-2 win over Norwich all got their names on the scoresheet first.
The Dutch midfielder’s four goals against the Canaries showed the talent that led to his club splashing out £14.5m for him in the summer.
Last year’s Eredivisie player of the year has demonstrated he can go on to become a big player for the Magpies, and that could all start on Sunday in the Tyne-Wear derby.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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