On the face of it, Sunderland have most to fear from the latest edition of Tyne/Wear derby hostilities.
They’re on the lip of the relegation zone eight games from the final curtain, with Burnley and QPR well within scrabbling distance below them.
Newcastle, however, face an altogether more terrifying prospect, that of a wound so vicious that a minimum of three seasons will be needed in order for it to heal.
If the Black Cats down their north east rivals at the Stadium of Light they will post a record fifth successive victory in the fiercely-contested fixture.
Sunderland are 31/20 favourites to do just that, with Newcastle narrow 7/4 underdogs and the stalemate priced up at 11/5.
John Carver’s side have lost nine of their last 11 games on the road, keeping a single clean sheet and the history books suggest that they will need to stop their hosts from scoring if they’re to stand any chance of claiming three points on Wearside.
More comfortingly for those of a black and white persuasion the self-same annals reflect the fact that they haven’t failed to find the net at the Stadium of Light since doing so twice in the old Division Two during the 1989/90 campaign.
In fact they’ve scored exactly once on all bar one of their last ten visits to their rivals’ stronghold, an eventuality that can be backed to repeat itself at an appealing 31/20.
Sign up for a new account at bwin.com and claim a £30 free bet that yields a £46.50 balance boost if the first Tyne/Wear tussle of 2015 follows suit.
That one goal should be the ceiling of their ambitions is firmly indicated by Sunderland’s miserly defensive record on home territory in recent outings.
Prior to the first-half meltdown against Aston Villa they had kept four clean sheets in six games at the Stadium of Light and far from cast aside that attitude in Dick Advocaat’s first match in charge, going down 1-0 to West Ham.