Our old friend Mark Lawrenson has pointed to Di Canio and Poyet’s derby record in the lead up to Sunderland v Newcastle on Easter Sunday.

Both managers picked up wins over Newcastle within weeks of becoming mackem managers.

After four dismal defeats under Alan Pardew, can John Carver do any better?

Mark Lawrenson thinks so, but only just.

In his BBC column, Lawrenson predicts a 1-1 draw but thinks that the biggest threat top Sunderland is if one of their players (Cattermole!!!) ends up getting sent off.

This is what the former Newcastle United defensive coach had to say about the derby:

Blimey. Good luck to new Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat on Sunday – what a mad fixture to face in his second game in charge.

He has a lot to live up to, because his predecessors Paolo Di Canio and Gus Poyet both had an excellent record against Newcastle, and Sunderland are unbeaten in a Tyne-Wear derby since October 2011.

That puts even more pressure on Advocaat, on top of the fact his side desperately need points in their fight against relegation.

Ultimately I think the Black Cats will stay up, because there are three teams who are worse than them – I do not see the current bottom three getting out of it.

But Advocaat has to be careful against the Magpies, who in contrast are under no pressure whatsoever. He will have to make sure his players treat it like it is just another three points, which won’t be easy.

Any Mackems reading this are probably saying ‘what on earth is he on about? This game is different’, but the point I am making is that they need to play the opposition, not the occasion.

All it takes is some hot tempers, late tackles and a player sent off and that is another three points gone for Sunderland. In their situation, they cannot afford for that to happen.

The personality who was also predicting results alongside Lawrenson was darts player and Port Vale fan, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. He also goes for a derby draw but he thinks 2-2.

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