Prediksi Sunderland vs Newcastle 7 April 2015 – The Tyne-Wear derby between Sunderland and Newcastle United usually turns out to be a highly competitive affair with one or both teams desperately scrambling for points in the bottom half of the Premier League table, and this weekend’s offering is no different. Newcastle are probably safe from relegation but need results under John Carver, but Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland are in danger of plunging into the relegation zone and only a win on Sunday is likely to satisfy the home support.
For much of the season, Sunderland kept their heads above water under the leadership of Gus Poyet, but after the Uruguayan put together a solid-looking squad at the Stadium of Light, that was nowhere near enough to justify him remaining at the club.
The Black Cats won just four times in 29 games under Poyet, the same number of victories as bottom-placed Leicester City, and despite having quality at his disposal, Advocaat has a big job on his hands lifting a squad who look bereft of confidence.
However, while the magnitude of Sunday’s game is at a high level, that could be what Advocaat needs to get the best out of his newly-acquired team, but it really is sink or swim time regarding the fans accepting his appointment.
Poyet departed after Sunderland had been thrashed 4-0 by Aston Villa, a game that resulted in several thousand fans leaving before half time. A late 1-0 defeat at West Ham United soon followed, and it has left the club’s future resting on the shoulders of their experienced players.
So far, the signing of Jermain Defoe hasn’t worked out, with just two goals being scored in nine Premier League games, and his failure in front of goal has spread through the side with Sunderland netting just twice in their last seven fixtures.
Despite the heavy defeat to Villa, Sunderland have generally performed well in defence – it’s the only game where they have conceded more than two goals since January 10 – but unless they get an improved goal return from the likes of Defoe and Steven Fletcher, who hasn’t scored in November, they face a fight on their hands to remain in the top flight for an eighth successive year.
Newcastle head into match with a 10-point cushion between themselves and the relegation zone, but Carver will be aware that he can’t afford a defeat against the club’s biggest rivals if he wants to remain in charge next season.
The Magpies have produced Jekyll-and-Hyde performances of late, but the end result in their last three games has been a loss, and while a fourth shouldn’t threaten their Premier League status, it would see the club continue to lose the progress made under Alan Pardew.
Carver would have been impressed with the desire shown in their home fixtures with Manchester United and Arsenal respectively, as would the club’s passionate supporters, but it’s their performance on the road that has thrown up questions about their mentality heading into the final eight games of the season.
At Manchester City, they capitulated without a fight when losing 5-0 to the title chasers before three weeks ago, a 3-0 setback against Everton raised suggestions from pundits that the players were already planning their summer holidays.
Those comments brought a sharp retort from Carver, but Newcastle need a response this weekend, especially from a strike-force that is missing the suspended Papiss Cisse.
Ayoze Perez hasn’t scored since December 28, Emmanuel Riviere is yet to score a Premier League goal in 17 appearances and Yoan Gouffran has just two goals for the season from a wide position.
Carver has called on his side to work harder than their hosts at the weekend, but like Sunderland, it’s an extra cutting edge in the final third that is required for the Magpies.