Gus Poyet got a harsh introduction to Premier League management when his Sunderland debut ended in a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Michael Laudrup’s Swansea, and his first Tyne-Wear derby isn’t likely to improve matters.
Both Poyet’s men and their Newcastle rivals are priced at 8/5 to win while a derby stalemate has odds of 23/10.
However, after a history of unsuccessful derby debuts for Sunderland bosses, it’s Alan Pardew’s side who should be backed to prosper.
Only one of Sunderland’s last six bosses have won their Tyne-Wear debut
Since Mick McCarthy stomped the Sunderland technical area in 2003, only one man has managed to seal a win in his first encounter with the club’s fierce rivals.
The ex-Irish boss and Steve Bruce suffered nightmare losses while Roy Keane, Ricky Sbragia and Martin O’Neill could only manage draws.
The one man who immediately struck a cord with Black Cats supporters, ironically, was Paolo Di Canio last season.
Fresh Newcastle bosses have only lost one of their derby debuts in seven attempts.
All the luck seems to be with the Geordie managers in their first experience of the striped clash.
Of the last seven bosses since Graeme Souness, four of them have ended the game on the winning side – Souness himself, Glenn Roeder, Kevin Keegan and Chris Hughton – while Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew both drew.
Somewhat predictably, it is the bumbling Joe Kinnear who’s been the only chief to fluff his lines in that time.
Sunderland have only won once in their last 16 home games with the enemy
If that damning trend wasn’t enough of a hump to get over, Poyet also has the worrying statistic of just one Sunderland win in the last 16 home clashes to overturn.
That’s not all, the Di Canio-lead victory of last season was Sunderland’s only joy against the Magpies in the last seven meetings.