Well it's that time of the season again folks!
After last year's shenanigans at St. James' Park, this year had better be less 'eventful'. Sunderland go to Newcastle on a surge of optimism, with the midweek win over Stoke keeping a good run going that has seen them rise to 6th in the Premier League form table. Four new signings have come in this month, as Gus Poyet is determined to overhaul his side further and see them rise up the table away from the drop zone.
Newcastle have little to shout about form-wise (it's pretty neutral) and their best midfielder has just left the club, bound for PSG. It certainly won't help for the derby game to have Remy banned for being sent off in midweek. The league position isn't a worry, with enough points to be certain to be playing in the Premier League next season, but Newcastle fans will demand to know why they won't be challenging for Europe in a more forceful way.
As far as the result goes, form is usually out of the window, so expect the unexpected.