After his first game as Sunderland manager ended in defeat last weekend, Paolo Di Canio quickly needs to pick up his first victory -- and there are few places the fans would rather a win than at the Black Cats' north-east neighbours Newcastle.
Sunderland are currently only a place outside the relegation zone, but are level on points with the team directly below them, Wigan. By the end of the weekend the Latics will have a couple of games in hand on Sunderland, meaning that a failure to pick up something here could prove disastrous for Di Canio's side.
As for Newcastle, they eased the pressure on themselves with a 1-0 win over Fulham last time out, and their buffer over the bottom three has grown out to five points. They shouldn't go down from their current position, and a victory would almost certainly secure their Premier League status.
They should be boosted by the returns of Cheick Tioté and Mathieu Debuchy from hamstring injuries, though a knee problem picked up by Steven Taylor could keep him out. Ryan Taylor and Fabrizio Coloccini are both still unavailable.
For Sunderland, top scorer Steven Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole are out until the end of the season, while defensive duo Carlos Cuéllar and Wes Brown, and midfielder David Vaughan remain doubtful.
Newcastle United injuries and suspensions
Out: Ryan Taylor (knee), Fabrizio Coloccini (back) In doubt: Cheick Tioté (hamstring), Mathieu Debuchy (hamstring), Steven Taylor (knee)
Sunderland injuries and suspensions
Out: Steven Fletcher (ankle), Lee Cattermole (knee) In doubt: Carlos Cuéllar (ankle), Wes Brown (knee)
Match Date\Time: Sunday, 12 p.m. local, 7 a.m. ET
Venue: St James' Park, Newcastle, England
TV: ESPN Deportes (U.S. Spanish) Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)
Online: ESPN3 (U.S.)