I've only been into football since 2011 but I've quickly learned how much the Tyne-Wear derby means to Newcastle and Sunderland supporters.
People might think I’m crazy for saying this but I generally HATE playing Newcastle even though Sunderland have won the last six derbies.
The only thing I really enjoy about them is the aftermath if we win but the build-up is horrible and the game is usually torture to sit through. Out of the last six, I have only enjoyed watching two of them at very best.
Ideally, I'd love Sunderland to draw/win against Newcastle and stay up with Newcastle, Norwich and Aston Villa relegated.
Rafa Benietz's arrival at St James's Park will undoubtedly and rightly give the Magpies a boost and the home fans will be rocking before kick-off.
Newcastle will come right at us early on, as I'm sure Sam Allardyce will have hammered into his players.
If we can get through the opening 20 to 30 minutes unscathed we can get something but only if we turn up.
A clean sheet would be very welcome having not kept one since the end of November.
The longer the game stays at 0-0, the more nervous and desperate Newcastle's fans will get. If we approach things properly, I think it could suit Sunderland being the away team as there's more pressure on Newcastle.
I'd honestly take a draw, proving Norwich lose at West Brom on Saturday.
If the worst happens it's by no means decisive if we lost – we'd only be two points behind Newcastle. There's still eight games left after the derby; that's 24 points to play for.
Don't get me wrong, Sunderland could really do with three points but Newcastle, who have been consistently poor away from home, will view this game as a must-win at all costs.
While an away win is the ideal result on Sunday, a draw would suit Sunderland better than Newcastle. While winning would be massive for either side, I think avoiding defeat is just as important.
Hopefully Sunderland will be on either 26 points or 28 points come 3.30pm on Sunday!
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