Frequenters of this column will have been privy to this article from esteemed scribe Thomas E.B. Reynolds, telling all about how it would be Sunderland who would claim the Tyne/Wear derby spoils.
As intelligent as the chap known amongst news.bwin.com/en/ canteen patrons as ‘Dickie’ is, he couldn’t have got this one more wrong.
It’ll be Newcastle celebrating success come the close of play and those to back them at 11/10 with bwin will be sharing Toon elation.
Few franchises are as formidable on the homestead as the Magpies.
Not since reigning champions Manchester City lassoed the laurels at St James’ Park on day one has any visitor fled Tyneside with all the points aboard the bus.
Two draws followed their City reverse, with four straight victories falling after that in the run up to this one.
Only one goal was conceded in this spell and previously undefeated Chelsea were among those to succumb to defeat.
Sunderland’s lack of goals on the road is cause for alarm.
They may not concede many (8-0 loss at Southampton aside) away from home, but the Black Cats have failed to hassle the scoreboard operator in five of their last six road games.
QPR, Burnley and Leicester – sides with backlines inferior to the one stocked on Tyneside – all kept the Sunderland armoury at bay in this spell so it stands to reason that they’ll draw another blank here.
Gus Poyet’s men have never won four consecutive derbies in the league.
The Wearsiders have registered successive 3-0 wins at St James’ Park and claimed the spoils in the last contest to be held at the Stadium of Light to match their best ever run of results against their most loathed.
Unfortunately for them, they’ve never strung together more than three straight wins against this foe and, having triumphed just twice in the top-tier all season, they can hardly be considered reliable here.