Gus Poyet's start to life as Sunderland manager couldn't have gone much worse; witnessing his side crumble in a 4-0 defeat away at Swansea City last weekend. However, that would soon be forgiven and forgotten if the Uruguayan can turn things around and mastermind a win over the Black Cats' most fierce Premier League rivals, Newcastle United.
Sadly, that's easier said than done. Sunderland are still sitting rock bottom of the table with just one solitary point from their opening eight matches, meaning they're already seven points adrift of safety. What's more, Newcastle have been reasonably good recently, beating Cardiff City before holding Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at St James' Park last weekend.
However, the Magpies will be without Fabricio Coloccini, Ryan Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa for the short trip, while Jonás Gutiérrez, Massadio Haïdara and Steven Taylor will all also likely miss out. For Sunderland, only Wes Brown is an early injury doubt.
Sunderland injuries and suspensions
Out: None. In doubt: Wes Brown (match fitness).
Newcastle United injuries and suspensions
Out: Fabricio Coloccini (groin), Ryan Taylor (knee), Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (suspended). In doubt: Jonás Gutiérrez (personal reasons), Massadio Haïdara (knee), Steven Taylor (hamstring).
Match Date/Time: Sunday, 1:30 p.m. local, 9:30 a.m. ET
Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England
TV: NBC Sports Network, DirecTV, Mun2 (U.S.), TSN2, RDS 2 (Canada), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.).
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.), Sky Go (U.K.).