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

Opinion Archive:

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:

Latest News RSS feeds

Costa to fight FA charge

Chelsea striker Diego Costa will contest his FA violent conduct charge with the full support of the club.

Transfer updates live

Follow the latest news and gossip, as Chelsea close in on Fiorentina's Juan Cuadrado.

Schurrle nears Wolfsburg move

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle is closing on a move back to Germany after agreeing to personal terms with Wolfsburg.

Sturridge expects Gerrard back

Daniel Sturridge is convinced Steven Gerrard will eventually return to Anfield as Liverpool manager.

FA back Prince Ali for FIFA

The Football Association has formally nominated Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Features

Title contenders A to Z: Part four of our series on Chelsea and Man City

Title contenders A to Z: Part four of our series on Chelsea and Man City

In the last of our four-part series, we look at the reasons why Chelsea and Man City have stolen a march on their rivals in the title race...

Title contenders A to Z: Part three of our series on Chelsea and Man City

Title contenders A to Z: Part three of our series on Chelsea and Man City

In part three of our series, we look at seven more reasons which set Chelsea and Man City apart from the pack...

Chelsea v Man City: Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team?

Chelsea v Man City: Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team?

Frank Lampard returns to Stamford Bridge as a legend but could he trouble his old team? Adam Bate looks at the curious case of the former Chelsea hero's move to Manchester City...