Sam Allardyce is the Fireman Sam of the Premier League according to John Carver.

After almost relegating Newcastle from what looked an impossible position last season, Carver has intimate knowledge of a relegation struggle. However, he thinks that Sunderland have appointed the right person because nobody is better at dealing with struggling clubs in the Premier League.

Funnily enough, most Newcastle fans also think Sam Allardyce is ideal for Sunderland as well, though this is because of the shocking style of football he produces, plus while he talks a good game about his ‘achievements’, fans at the likes of West Ham and Newcastle know that the reality is somewhat different.

Carver predicts Allardyce will have ‘a trick or two up his sleeve’ for today’s match, this will probably be him playing eight defensive players rather than seven….

Alan Pardew’s one-time assistant says that before the win over Norwich he felt that Sunderland were favourites to win, but after picking up the north east’s one win in eighteen this season, the pendulum has swung in favour of Newcastle.

John Carver picks out Wijnaldum and Mitrovic as big players today and here’s hoping that as Carver says, they carry on where they left off last week.

John Carver:

“My heart sank, Big Sam is the Premier League’s number one firefighter and his appointment is just what Sunderland needed.

“I have never worked with him but I have huge respect for the man and his methods, he’ll have Sunderland fired up and I’m sure there’s a trick or two up his sleeve.”

Beating Norwich:

“Before that (win over Norwich), I made Sunderland clear favourites, they are at home, they’ve won the last five and then there’s the Sam factor.

“But Newcastle have that first win under their belt, not just that but scoring six goals, so confidence will be higher than at any time this season.”

Mental scars:

“Of course, there will be a few players who still carry mental scars from all those derby defeats but the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum have no such worries.

“They are bang in form and will be looking to carry on where they left off against Norwich.”