Fri 5 Jan 2024, 16:59 · Ash Harrison

Three Geordies in the starting lineup - Our starting XI prediction to face Sunderland

Three Geordies in the starting lineup - Our starting XI prediction to face Sunderland
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Tomorrow will be the most meaningful game most of this Newcastle United squad has played in a black and white shirt.

It has been over seven years since the last derby and both squads have undergone massive changes since then. Newcastle have still retained a few local lads for their squad though, and we have three of them in from the start.

Dan Burn probably never thought he'd get to play in this fixture, but we back him to start at left-back. Sean Longstaff and Lewis Miley, both products of the academy will also be in from kick-off.

We expect Eddie Howe will go as strong as he can with his selection

It's still not as strong as an eleven as we'd like, but there are still some players in there that are way above what Sunderland have on their books.

Newcastle United 13
Eddie Howe will go strong for this one

Goalkeeper

Martin Dubravka - After his miracle-working against Liverpool keeping the score down to just four, he should be feeling good about himself.

Defence

Tino Livramento - Kieran Trippier faces a late fitness test which suggests that even if passed fit he may be used as a sub rather than a starter so Tino Livramento will get the nod.

Fabian Schar - Howe is unlikely to want to chance the centre-backs if he doesn't have to so as long as Fabi is fit, he'll be in.

Sven Botman - The big Ivan Drago-looking centre-back has to start whenever he's fit. He's just that good.

Dan Burn - Burn will know what this fixture means more than anybody and that could squeeze an extra 10% out of him.

Midfield

Lewis Miley - Another local lad who will have dreamed about playing in a derby, he's likely to get his wish on Saturday.

Bruno Guimaraes - He may not understand the occasion so much, but playing against Sunderland, he should shine.

Sean Longstaff - Expect Longy to get booked in the first half after he has a rush of blood. It will mean a lot to Longstaff to play in a derby and he will make his presence felt.

Forwards

Anthony Gordon - Likely to start out on the right again over Miguel Almiron despite looking dead on his feet against Liverpool. He was openly excited about this fixture after the draw so he will be desperate to be involved.

Alexander Isak - Isak should be able to run rings around the Sunderland lads, even if he's not fully fit.

Joelinton - Like Bruno, he may not fully understand the occasion, but Joey doesn't need an occasion to get fired up. Just activate Beast Mode and watch him go.

On paper, that side is more than capable of beating Sunderland, but unfortunately, there are so many factors that come into play that it's difficult to get too confident about the outcome.

Plus, how many times have we said after our lineup prediction that we've got enough to see off the opposition and it hasn't come off? There are no guarantees in this game.

There are guarantees around the game though, and you can bet that the Toon Army are going to play their part in that corner of the Stadium of Light.

Howay Eddie Howe's FA Cup Loving Mags!