Sunderland and Newcastle United meet for a huge Tyne-Wear derby in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday at 12.45pm (UK time).
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When Aleksandar Mitrovic cancelled out Jermain Defoe’s opener late on at St. James’ Park back in 2016, nobody thought we would have to wait nearly eight years for another Tyne-Wear derby. However, after the footballing gods set up one of the ties of the round in the FA Cup third round, football rivalries can once again be renewed at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland had the better of the rivalry before their relegation and are actually unbeaten in each of their last nine games against Newcastle, winning six of the last seven meetings between the two sides. Despite being one league above their rivals and being favourites, Eddie Howe will be looking to become the first Newcastle manager to beat Sunderland across any competition since 2011 when Ryan Taylor’s free-kick handed Alan Pardew a 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
After their poor run of form in the league, the FA Cup may actually be Newcastle’s best chance of a place in Europe next season, but first they will have to overcome their recent poor form in the competition having been knocked out in the third round in each of the past three seasons and against lower-league opposition in the last two.