Newcastle United v Sunderland: Match preview

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Newcastle United v Sunderland

Barclays Premier League

Sports Direct Arena

Sunday, March 4. Kick-off: 1200


Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse missed Senegal's midweek friendly with a groin injury, but may yet be available for Alan Pardew on Sunday.

The Toon boss may also be without Shola Ameobi, who has been struggling with illness, but Cheick Tiote is expected to return in midfield.

For, Sunderland Phil Bardsley looks likely to miss out with a calf complaint, but Nicklas Bendtner and Sebastian Larsson should be fit.

Stephane Sessegnon returned late to Wearside after international action with Benin, so may be too jet-lagged to feature.


Gutierrez relishing derby day


Jonas Gutierrez is wary of the threat of rivals Sunderland ahead of Sunday's derby, but has urged his Newcastle teammates to 'enjoy' the occasion.

Sunderland have just one win in 14 Tyne-Wear derbies, but will travel to the Sports Direct Arena having won eight of their 12 matches since the turn of the year.

Newcastle, though, maintain a gap of ten points over the Black Cats in the Premier League and, as well as local bragging rights, are keen to secure European qualification.

Three points this weekend will certainly aid Alan Pardew's side in their quest to qualify for continental football, although Gutierrez purely focused on facing Sunderland.

"It is something fantastic and something we want to enjoy," said Gutierrez, according to

"But we want to stand out in the game.

"I know they [Sunderland] are coming here with a point to prove, and it will be difficult.

"We just want to get to what we have been doing."

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