Biggest Derby In 25 Years?

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They look to end a run of four consecutive defeats to the Mackems.

Currently, nine points and five places separate the two teams.

Former players, Toon stars and pundits have said the form guide goes out of the window in the derby, which for both teams is a good thing.

Relegation threatened Sunderland are without a win in seven matches and find themselves just one point above the bottom three.

The Magpies have gone three without victory with their last three points coming against Aston Villa at St James’ Park.

If United fail to win at the Stadium of Light on Easter Sunday, it will be seven derbies without a Newcastle win, with the last coming in August 2011.

How will Newcastle line up against Sunderland?

John Carver will be hoping he can end the hoodoo.

His first task will be finding enough players to fill the match day squad with the club suffering a torrid combination of suspensions and injuries.

It is rumoured that Mehdi Abeid could make a return to the side and he could be joined by soon to be out of contract wideman Rolando Aarons, who hasn’t been seen for the Toon this year.

United’s international stars, Moussa Sissoko, Daryl Janmaat and goalkeeper Tim Krul, have so far returned unscathed from the spring break.

It’s likely Carver will go with his starting 11 from the Arsenal defeat following their second half fight back.

The Geordie manager is clinging on to the crumbling hope of being offered the role full time by his finger nails but unless he takes the three points for the Magpies’ closest rivals he will have failed his audition.

With both sides struggling again, this derby could be the most important since the play-offs 25 years ago.