The FA Cup third-round draw threw up some fascinating ties, including the first Wear-Tyne derby since 2016.
Championship promotion chasers Sunderland are unbeaten in three games, while Newcastle are on the slide in the Premier League after five losses in six top-flight matches.
Sunderland double chance - 21/20
Newcastle have not tasted success in a Tyne-Wear derby since 2011, and they may struggle to get the better of Sunderland in this weekend’s FA Cup third-round tie at the Stadium of Light.
Pressure has been mounting on Magpies’ manager Eddie Howe, who has presided over five defeats in the last six Premier League matches.
Howe’s charges have slipped to ninth in the top flight - 11 points adrift of the top four - and their recent struggles have heightened the importance of a long run in the FA Cup.
Newcastle have not won a major knockout competition since they were Fairs Cup winners in 1969, although they came close last season with a run to the final of the EFL Cup.
However, increased investment over the last couple of years has raised expectations, and it is fair to say that fans and owners would take a dim view of an early FA Cup exit at the hands of the club’s bitter rivals.
Howe will probably go with his strongest available team, but confidence is low, and selection is complicated by the absence of at least nine senior players.
Sunderland are sure to sense an opportunity, and they approach the game in good spirits, having taken seven points from their last three fixtures.
The Black Cats are up to sixth in the Championship, and they look overpriced 21/20 shots to extend their three-game unbeaten run.
Jack Clarke to score anytime - 10/3
Jack Clarke has been the star player for Sunderland this season, scoring 12 Championship goals, and he looks a worthwhile wager at 10/3 to notch against Newcastle.
Clarke burst onto the scene as a teenager with his first club Leeds, and soon earned a big-money move to Tottenham.
However, he failed to feature in a single Premier League game for the Lilywhites and decided to rebuild his career at Sunderland, initially on loan and eventually on a permanent contract.
Clarke’s pace, skill and technique mark him down as one of the Championship’s outstanding players, and there is every chance of the 23-year-old making an impact against the injury-hit Magpies.
Bruno Guimaraes to be carded - 7/4
Newcastle’s recent struggles have been hard for their players to take, and nobody has shown greater frustration than Bruno Guimaraes, who has been yellow-carded in each of the last four matches.
Guimaraes has been cautioned eight times in the Premier League this season and appears certain to pass the ten-card mark and trigger a two-game suspension.
FA Cup yellow cards will not contribute towards a Premier League ban, and that is just as well because Guimaraes loves a tackle and looks like a strong candidate to enter referee Craig Pawson’s notebook.
Patrick Roberts (calf) is a doubt, while Bradley Dack, Dennis Cirkin (both hamstring), Niall Huggins, Corry Evans and Jay Matete (all knee) are all sidelined.
Sandro Tonali continues his suspension, and Callum Wilson, Joe Willock (both calf), Nick Pope, Jacob Murphy (both shoulder), Elliot Anderson (back), Harvey Barnes (foot), Matt Targett (thigh), and Javi Manquillo (groin), are also unavailable. Kieran Trippier (groin) is a doubt.
Newcastle have won just two of 15 away games this season.
Sunderland are unbeaten in their last nine Tyne-Wear derbies.
Newcastle have triumphed on just one of their last eight visits to the Stadium of Light.
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.