ANTHONY REVEILLERE will go from team-mate to arch-enemy in this weekend’s Tyne-Wear derby.
The veteran Sunderland defender makes his debut in the North East’s battle for bragging rights this Sunday, as the Black Cats look to secure a record-breaking fourth successive win over Alan Pardew’s side.
Reveillere is familiar with Newcastle’s French contingent, having played against the likes of Remy Cabella and Yoan Gouffran in Ligue 1.
But the 35-year-old is on closer terms with Magpies midfielder Moussa Sissoko, the stand-out player for Newcastle this season.
Reveillere was part of the France squad when Sissoko made his international debut back in October 2009 and knows he will be a dangerman for Sunderland this weekend.
“I know of Gouffran and Cabella, but I haven’t played alongside them,” Reveillere told the Echo.
“But I know Sissoko well and he has been very important for Newcastle this season.
“I was in the squad when he was making his debut for France and I always thought he would adapt well to the English game.
“He’s very powerful, quick and can score goals, but we have to prepare to stop him and Newcastle.”
While Reveillere is eagerly anticipating his first taste of a Tyne-Wear tussle, he is familiar with a similarly fierce local rivalry.
During a decade at Lyon, Reveillere regularly featured in the “Derby du Rhone” against St Etienne.
Like the Tyne-Wear clash, the encounter pits two cities lying in close proximity, with around 30 miles separating the two clubs.
But Reveillere insists he is relishes these kind of games and smiles at the prospect of what lies in store at St James’s Park.
“Lyon-St Etienne is similar. That’s a big derby in France,” he added.
“I love these games.
“There’s a special atmosphere in the stadium and in the town as well.
“It’s important. It’s a match that you don’t want to lose for all the supporters and the city.
“But I’m looking forward to it.”