The Premier League season is now seven games old, yet north east duo Newcastle and Sunderland remain winless.
Were it not for a late surge from Chelsea, the former would’ve got off the mark last time out, but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw against the champions at St James’ Park.
Dick Advocaat’s Wearsiders weren’t quite as resilient, taking a resounding 3-0 pounding at Old Trafford off a flying Manchester United outfit.
The result, despite being universally anticipated pre-kick off, has seen the Black Cats shrivel into a ridiculously short 1/4 for relegation this season, but it’s them who the news.bwin.com tipsters fancy to win the race to a first three points of the campaign with Newcastle.
This is because, in just three games time, the pair will meet at the Stadium of Light in a fixture Sunderland have milked the spoils from this decade.
Not since August 2011 have the Toon toppled their regional rivals, with the Mackem mob prevailing in five straight renewals.
In the two games ahead of Tyne-Wear hostilities being reignited, Newcastle must travel to Manchester City before entertaining Norwich.
The Citizens may have lost two straight home games across all competitions, but they haven’t so much as conceded a goal against Steve McClaren’s side in seven meetings.
On the wrong end of an aggregate score of 13-0 from three trips to the Etihad, the Magpies have no hope of recording win numero uno against a Man City side desperate for the victory to patch up their title challenge.
Norwich have proved capable since returning to the top flight, suffering defeat in just two of nine games in all competitions.
Since Alex Neil took the reins, the Canaries have only surrendered the spoils in two divisional away matches; they can expect a point at least from their trip to Tyneside.
Prospects of a pre-St James’ sojourn victory for Sunderland are slim too.
They host the West Ham side who are three from three on the road, having prevailed at Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City so far.
After the Hammers’ visit, they must travel to West Brom in search of a first victory at the Hawthorns since 2007.
All of this renders the 1/2 about Sunderland claiming their maiden victory of the campaign before Newcastle a worthy wager.