The Premier League weekend starts with a bang on Saturday, as Newcastle United welcome near-neighbours Sunderland to St. James' Park for the latest edition of the Tyne-Wear derby. League position suggests the Magpies should be able to run away with this one, though with Sunderland ever improving under Gus Poyet, it's far from a foregone conclusion.
The Black Cats are currently down in 17th place, having moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Stoke City in midweek. Newcastle may be nine positions higher in the table, but their form hasn't been great of late, with Alan Pardew's side winning only one of their last five league matches. This game really is too tight to call.
Confusing things yet further is Newcastle's lengthy injury list, with Fabricio Coloccini, Papiss Demba Cissé and Loïc Rémy their most notable absentees, while Yoan Gouffran faces a late fitness test. For Sunderland, Keiren Westwood and Carlos Cuéllar are both unavailable, with Lee Cattermole and Phil Bardsley in doubt.
Newcastle United injuries and suspensions
Sunderland injuries and suspensions
Out: Keiren Westwood (shoulder), Carlos Cuéllar (hip). In doubt: Lee Cattermole (knock), Phil Bardsley (back).
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 12:45 p.m. local, 7:45 a.m. ET
Venue: St. James' Park, Newcastle, England
TV: NBCSN (U.S.), Sportsnet (Canada)
Online: NBC Sports Live Extra (U.S.)