Sunderland AFC news: Newcastle man could miss derby, midfielder wants clean sheets, Jamie Carragher tips Big Sam
Newcastle United midfielder Jack Colback could miss the Tyne-Wear derby - if he goes into the referee's notebook tonight.
New boss Rafa Benitez takes charge of the Magpies for the first time at league leaders Leicester City tonight, yet one of his players iswalking a tightrope.
Ex-Sunderland man Colback is on nine yellow cards, with another booking at the King Power Stadium ruling him out of Sunday's clash with his former club.
With less than a week to go now before the derby, focus is turning to a pivotal encounter in the survival battle for both clubs.
Sunderland midfielder Jan Kirchhoff believes that it is essential for the Black Cats to break their clean sheet curse at St James's Park after the Black Cats have failed to record a shut-out in their last 15 Premier League games.
"We defend well and we've got a good shape, but then we give the ball away in bad situations," said Kirchhoff.
Meanwhile, former England international Jamie Carragher has tipped Sunderland to beat the drop ahead of Newcastle, despite the Magpies appointing his former ex-Liverpool boss Benitez.
"I think I’d favour Sunderland, just because Sam Allardyce has more experience in the Premier League at that end of the table and dealing with that level of player," said Carragher.