Blogs & Opinion


Jamie Redknapp:

Most Popular Posts:

Recent Comments:

Stuart Mcdermott on The thin blue line

"Jamie, superb article as always! I have to say that, as always, you're spot on. Arsenal have no momentum going into the last 5 games and i can't see them getting the results they ... " View all comments

Jamie Redknapp reckons Newcastle will edge Tyne-Wear derby with Sunderland

Jamie Redknapp - Jamie Redknapp Posted 11th April 2013 view comments

Sunderland's season is on the line this Sunday when they travel to Newcastle for the Sky Live Tyne-Wear derby.

Time will tell whether the Black Cats' decision to replace Martin O'Neill with Paolo Di Canio last week was an inspired move or a crazy one but one thing's for sure, if they beat their rivals this weekend the Italian will be a hero in the eyes of the Sunderland fans.

Di Canio: Can he get more out of the Black Cats than Martin O'Neill?

Di Canio: Can he get more out of the Black Cats than Martin O'Neill?

However, it was a massive £60m gamble by the owner, Ellis Short, to replace O'Neill with a manager who only has experience of working in League One and Two. It was an incredible decision and a big risk but he obviously felt things weren't going the way he wanted and decided to act.

The problem for Di Canio is he has very little time to start getting results with a team that hasn't won since January 19 - and he doesn't even have the option of bringing any players in.

Player-for-player Newcastle have a better team than Sunderland and crucially have the power of Moussa Sissoko in central midfield.

Jamie Redknapp
Quotes of the week

Live on Sky Sports

Newcastle v Sunderland
11.30am, Sun, Sky Sports 1 HD

He suggested after his first game in charge, when Chelsea came from behind to win 2-1 at Stamford Bridge, that his players may lack fitness but, having been in a relegation battle myself with Southampton, I'd say the biggest problem at this stage of the season for a struggling team is confidence.

Check out Jamie Redknapp's Premier League tips

With their top goal-scorer Steven Fletcher missing for the rest of the campaign - as well as their captain Lee Cattermole - Sunderland aren't going to be beating teams 2-0 or 3-0 so they need to find a way to grind results out. Di Canio will have to motivate the players and try to change their mind-set - but O'Neill was always a motivator so I'm not sure whether Di Canio will have more success than him in that area.

Confidence

The quickest way Sunderland can boost their confidence, though, is by getting three points on the board this weekend, but that is going to be no easy task at St James' Park.

Di Canio couldn't have faced two tougher games to start his reign with - an away trip to Chelsea before going to a Newcastle side regaining confidence after Papiss Cisse's last-gasp winner against Fulham is a huge challenge for them.

The win over Fulham has moved the Magpies clear of the drop zone and they know they just need one win from their remaining games and they can start thinking about next season, so the pressure is really on the visitors on Sunday.

Newcastle's transformation from a side which narrowly missed out on the Champions League last season to one trying to avoid relegation this year isn't good enough - in fact, it's appalling, especially given the fortune they've spent on players - but they can at least look to move on from this campaign with three points from one of their remaining games.

With the amount of talent they have in their side I think that win could come this weekend. Player-for-player Newcastle have a better team than Sunderland and crucially have the power of Moussa Sissoko in central midfield.

Sunderland's midfield features decent players but they don't have the strength to cope with the likes of Sissoko and Yohan Cabaye. Newcastle could overrun them in that area and, with Cisse up top - the best striker on the pitch - I think they have the potential match-winner.

I'm going for a 2-1 win for Newcastle.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

When was the last time Arsenal and Liverpool fielded all-British sides? Martin Tyler has the answer......

Glenn Hoddle

Hoddle: Lessons not learnt

Glenn Hoddle says Manchester City are still struggling to adapt when they play in Europe following the draw with Roma....

Graeme Souness

Souness: Stevie still a star

Graeme Souness says Steven Gerrard would still get into the starting XI of any Premier League team....

Latest News RSS feeds

Rodgers in Sturridge warning

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has told Roy Hodgson that Daniel Sturridge will not be fit to play for England next week.

Matic header edges Sporting

Nemanja Matic's header earned Chelsea three away points against Sporting Lisbon in UEFA Champions League Group G.

City pegged back by Totti

Manchester City endured yet another night of Champions League frustration as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Roma.

Souness: Stevie still a star

Graeme Souness says Steven Gerrard would still get into the starting XI of any Premier League team.

Wenger seeking anniversary win

Arsene Wenger will celebrate 18 years as Arsenal manager when his team take on Galatasaray in the Champions League.

Features

Midfield master

Midfield master

Match-winner Nemanja Matic is now an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team, says Roberto di Matteo.

Manuel Pellegrini is still struggling to bring the best out of Manchester City after Champions League draw with Roma

Manuel Pellegrini is still struggling to bring the best out of Manchester City after Champions League draw with Roma

"I am absolutely sure that Manchester City will eventually win the Champions League," said Manuel Pellegrini before City's 1-1 draw with Roma. The key word being 'eventually'. On this evidence, City's date with destiny still lies far in the future.

Champions League: Andre Villas Boas has made a strong start to his time in charge of Zenit St Petersburg

Champions League: Andre Villas Boas has made a strong start to his time in charge of Zenit St Petersburg

“If we win all nine matches, Zenit will be champions.” The words of Andre Villas Boas upon being named Zenit St Petersburg manager in March seemed wildly optimistic given the circumstances.