Newcastle v Sunderland: Local lad Johnson to end Black Cats’ winless run

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It’s probably the biggest game of the season if you hail from the north east of England, and with both sides in a battle at either end of the table, pressure will be on both Alan Pardew and Gus Poyet to pick up a result.

Newcastle’s 4-0 defeat to Tottenham in midweek will have left the Toon Army with work today ahead of this contest, as they continue to challenge for the European places.

Sunderland conversely sit just three places above the relegation zone and could slip into the bottom three by the end of the weekend if they fail to get anything out of their local rivals.

Ladbrokes News’ Ben Stones has picked out three bets that look well worth following.

Sunderland to win @ 3/1

They may be sat towards the bottom of the Premier League table, but Sunderland have been solid of late.

Draws against Liverpool, Chelsea and the high-flying West Ham are far from poor results, but it is their inability to convert draws into wins that sees them where they are.

However, with the Black Cats coming out victorious in the last three Tyne and Wear derbies and Newcastle coming into this on the back of a heavy defeat, they look the value call.

Adam Johnson to score anytime @ 9/2

Local derbies certainly sort the men from the boys, with the local players often coming to the fore on the pitch.

Adam Johnson has certainly done that since his switch to his home town club.

In the two visits to St James’ Park, he has managed to get himself on the scoresheet.

It’s likely that if Sunderland are to break through the home defence, the tricky winger will be a big part of it.

Under 2.5 goals @ 3/4

Unfortunately for the neutral, all signs point to this being a low scoring affair.

As mentioned, Poyet’s men are struggling to break teams down, with Jozy Altidore one man in particular who has been guilty of squandering chances, and have played out five 0-0 draws already this season.

What could provide even more of a barrier for their attack is Newcastle’s solid defence on their own patch.

The Magpies have conceded just one goal in their last four matches at home, and should be able to mute much of Sunderland’s attacking intent.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.