Sports Betting Weekly

Sunderland v Newcastle United

When: Sunday, 05 April 2015 @ 22:00 (FINISHED)
Where: Stadium of Light
Struggling Sunderland will be hoping that their remarkable recent record against bitter rivals, Newcastle United, continues as they desperately seek to pull themselves away from the relegation trapdoor with just eight games remaining in the Tyne and Wear derby.

Following an abysmal run of just four wins in 23 games, Gus Poyet was relieved of his duties as manager of the Black Cats, with a 4-0 home defeat to fellow relegation battlers Aston Villa proving to be the final straw for an increasingly disgruntled board and set of supporters.

The Sunderland hierarchy subsequently turned to the strict Dutch disciplinarian, Dick Advocaat, in the hope the 67-year-old can save the Mackems from relegation. The Dutchman boasts an impressive CV, with league title wins in Holland, Russia and Scotland – but as we saw with Felix Magath and Fulham last year, that doesn’t necessarily translate to being a success in England.

Despite all his experience, Advocaat has basically been thrown in at the deep end with a fixture of this magnitude – with far more at stake for Sunderland than there is for virtually safe Newcastle. It’s also never a good sign when a new manager bucks the trend and actually loses his first game in charge, as Advocaat did before the international break in a narrow 1-0 defeat to West Ham.

For Newcastle, this game is really the only thing they have left to play for this season. They are not going to challenge the teams higher up the league for a European place, they went out the F.A. Cup very early on to Leicester and they are 10 points off of the relegation zone before a ball is kicked.

It’s been another nothing season for the Geordies, and their loyal fan base will be hoping that this will be the summer that the team sees investment and can go on to restore some pride to the city. Caretaker boss John Carver will try to get that ball rolling by looking to end Sunderland’s six-game unbeaten run against his side, with the Black Cats winning the two team’s last four meetings.

In fact, Newcastle haven’t won at the Stadium of Light since 2011, when a Ryan Taylor strike was enough to secure all three points. The market certainly isn’t keen on a repeat win this time, with Sunderland favourites at 8/5 and Newcastle available at 11/5 to win.

Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez has been highly praised this year and can be had at 8/1 to score first or 3/1 to score anytime, while for Sunderland, Adam Johnson – who scored the only goal of the game the last time the two sides met – is 13/1 to break the deadlock and 19/4 to net at any point.