Black Cats to edge commitment over Magpies
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There are few keener felt rivalries than the Tyne-Wear derby and Sunderland manager Gus Poyet will look to continue the dominance he has overseen since taking over at the Stadium of Light.
In only Poyet’s second game in charge after succeeding Paolo di Canio as Sunderland boss he steered them to a 2-1 derby win over Newcastle.
That was followed by a 3-0 away win in the reverse fixture in February as he inspired the Black Cats to avoid relegation.
There is little to choose between the sides when it comes to commitment and if you measure that by fouls committed then Sunderland just edge their great rivals so far this season.
In the 16 Premier League games played so far Sunderland have committed 188 fouls and Newcastle are close on their heels with 182.
Poyet can look to the robust midfield presence of Lee Cattermole to take the challenge to Newcastle with seven yellow cards to his record already this season.
Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side is not exactly full of shrinking violets with the likes of Cheick Tiote also unlikely to pull out of the tackle.
But with Tiote walking a disciplinary tightrope as he goes into the game on four yellow cards then Pardew might have to look to other players to carry out the midfield enforcer role.
Until their recent run ended at Arsenal the Magpies were becoming known for the quality of their football but three points will be at the forefront of their minds on derby day.
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