Meanwhile, QPR need to turn things round very quickly although a home match against Everton is a tough assignment and Mark Hughes might have just a matter of games to preserve his position.
Sunderland v Newcastle 13:30
The first Tyne-Wear derby of the season takes place on Sunday, with Newcastle United making the short journey south to the Stadium of Light having enjoyed a 1-0 win there last term after Ryan Taylor’s excellent winning goal.
The Magpies have had the better of derbies in the past couple of seasons and Alan Pardew’s team are a 2/1 chance with Betfred to claim three valuable points which will make the supporters even more jubilant in a week where the name of St James’ Park was restored to the Tyneside ground.
Pardew also knows that Senegal’s exit from the African Cup of Nations means that Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will be staying put in January and perhaps his two strikers can weave their magic against Sunderland to move Newcastle back towards the top six of the Premier League.
Ba is the one that has made a flying start to the campaign which is quite a contrast to the second half of last season where he was shifted out to the wing and Cisse scored some outstanding goals. The bookies make them both a 6/1 chance to score the first goal, although Sunderland have a prolific forward of their own.
Steven Fletcher has been scoring for fun since arriving from Wolves and although he was unable to improve the fortunes of Scotland in the past few days, he will spearhead the home team’s attack in this match and odds of 6/1 are available with Coral that he scores first.
As the home side, Sunderland are favourites at 13/8 and Martin O’Neill remains a popular manager who steered the team to a 1-0 win over Wigan in their last home game. Perhaps any victory will be achieved with another tight margin and 1-0 can be backed again at 6/1.
QPR v Everton 16:00
Many expected Queens Park Rangers to fare well this season after Mark Hughes spent plenty of money in the summer to shape his own Hoops squad, although the west London side have not earned the points that some of their bright performances have merited and they sit bottom of the Premier League table.
You can’t really say that QPR have had a tough run of fixtures and they ironically took one of their two points against leaders Chelsea, although they could do with a maximum haul against the Toffees and can be backed at 12/5 (BetVictor) to enjoy their first win of the season.
Everton are currently averaging two points per match and they’ve tasted defeat on just one occasion, having claimed a point at Wigan in their last game when they probably deserved more than a 2-2 draw.
It’s no surprise to see the Merseyside team priced at 5/4 (Sportingbet free bets) based on their bright early season form, although they are likely to be missing the injured Marouane Fellaini who is still recovering from a knock picked up at the DW Stadium.
Nikica Jelavic has started to get among the goals and odds of 5/1 are on offer that the Croatian sets Everton on their way at Loftus Road, although Leighton Baines once again catches the eye at 16/1 based on how much the left-back gets forward and the fact that he’s on penalty duties for the visitors.