The Premier League’s second round of fixtures kicks off at the Stadium of Light and there is sure to be a cauldron atmosphere for the Tyne-Wear derby, with both Sunderland and Newcastle landing a point in their opening game against top-class opposition.
Few gave the Black Cats much hope of getting anything out of Saturday’s trip to Anfield, although Steve Bruce’s side recovered from a slow start to get a 1-1 draw and they are hot favourites at 6/5 (Ladbrokes – £50 free bets) to follow up this good result with three points against their arch-rivals.
Bruce has been very busy in the summer and he must have been delighted with the performance of Wes Brown in the heart of the Sunderland defence against Liverpool. In addition, Sebastian Larsson enjoyed a debut to remember after a volleyed equaliser and the Swede is an interesting 12/1 (Sky Bet – £35 free betting) to break the deadlock against the Magpies.
Newcastle have had a typically turbulent summer, with Jose Enrique following Kevin Nolan out of the exit door and Joey Barton getting himself into trouble before helping United to a draw against Arsenal on Saturday. If the midfielder is selected in the derby, he can expect a very warm welcome from home fans!
The visitors nearly won this fixture last season and can be backed at 13/5 with Paddy Power to build on that point against the Gunners with a morale-boosting victory which will ensure that their supporters’ short journey back to Tyneside is a very happy one.
Barton is a 14/1 chance with Paddy Power to add insult to injury by opening the scoring, with Demba Ba on offer at 7/1 with the same firm and the former West Ham striker might prove to be a handful considering how much pace he has.