Five facts: The Tyne-Wear Derby

Tyne-Wear derby

Newcastle United play Sunderland this afternoon in what is being billed by both sides as their biggest game of the season. The North East teams are currently struggling to avoid relegation into the Sky Bet Championship (Newcastle having previously being relegated in the 2008/2009 season).

Rafa Benitez took over from Steve McClaren at the helm of of the Toon after a week of uncertainty and the Spaniard’s first home game is against local rivals Sunderland. Sunderland have previously had success swapping out managers just before derby matches with Paulo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat, and Sam Allardyce all losing their first game in charge before winning their second.

How well do you know your Tyne-Wear derby? Here are five more derby day facts for both fans.

How to solve a problem like Newcastle United?

How to solve a problem like Newcastle United
Newcastle defending a corner against Southampton in August. Picture courtesy of wikimedia.org

North East football is unquestionably in turmoil at the moment. Sunderland are propping up the rest of the table with Newcastle United lying in 19th place having only gained two points from a possible 18. But how are the Magpies in this predicament?