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Feisty one you are! Newcastle play Sunderland this weekend, but is the Tyne-Wear derby the UK’s most aggressive derby game?

When Sunderland visit Newcastle it tends to be ill-tempered, but is it the feistiest derby in the UK? We crack open the stat book to find out.

by Josh Powell | December 18, 2014

The Tyne-Wear derby between Newcastle and Sunderland is expected to throw up the usual cocktail of crunching tackles, touchline flash-points and animal assaults at St James’ Park this weekend. There is certainly no love lost between two sets of fans who enjoy seeing the others suffer, as much as seeing themselves succeed.

Now, thanks to a brief scan of the world wide web, the Paddy Power Blog can reveal that the Tyne-Wear derby is one of the most ill-disciplined derby matches in the UK – although it still has some way to go to catch up with the Old Firm game when Celtic clash with Rangers in Glasgow.

The_Fear_on_Tyne-Wear Infographic

  • Major hat tip to Carol Farrell for this snazzily designed Infographic

A chunky 50 yellow cards and five sending offs in the last 10 derby meetings lands this particular match in fourth on our bad behaivour table. That’s an average of 62.5 points on the card index per game (10 points for a yellow, 25 for a red) and puts the Tyne-Wear Derby marginally behind the Manchester Derby in the ferociousness stakes. Cheick Tiote (surprise, surprise), Stephane Sessegnon, Lee Cattermole (again, shock and indeed horror), Phil Bardsley and Titus Bramble were the five men to get their marching orders in the last 10 games and the referee is set to have a busy afternoon once again.

The Old Firm game tops our list due to a whopping nine red cards in the last 10 games, and that’s closely followed by the East Midlands derby between Forest and Derby. Londoners will be keen to ditch the ‘soft Southern fairy’ tag by pointing out that the North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham makes it into the top half, while the Steel City derby between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United is a model of cuddles, politeness and affection.


  • Dive two-footed into the latest Newcastle v Sunderland odds right this way: Desktop | Mobile

This year’s most likely offenders need little introduction to the referee’s notebook. Sunderland’s Connor Wickham might not be known for his particularly dirty nature, but any player who has racked up an average of more than two fouls a game this season will be treading a tightrope in the derby. Black Cat’s team-mate Lee Cattermole (above) has racked up a staggering seven bookings this season and is exactly the kind of player you’d expect to potentially lose his head in the heat of battle and he’s 16/1 to see red.

For the Magpies Moussa Sissoko has already been for an early bath this season, as well as picking up five yellow cards and committing 26 fouls. Quite the tally for the French midfielder.

Jack Colback is also making his first Tyne-Wear derby appearance after swapping Sunderland for Newcastle on a free transfer in the summer. Sunderland publicly criticised the move, saying it left a ‘bitter taste’, so don’t expect the visiting fans to be too kind to the young midfielder who isn’t shy in putting in some crunching tackles.


As for the booking points, over 50 looks likely at 1/2, while for the fan who sits on the couching baying for blood and hoping to see tackles arriving later than the British public transport, over 70 is 8/5.

Whatever happens we’re looking forward to a game full of thunderous challenges, an angry Alan Pardew tantrum in the technical area, and possibly some sort of girly handbags from Lee Cattermole. Oh, and some cracking goals as well. That would be fantastic.

  • Get well and truly stuck into the latest Newcastle v Sunderland odds here: Desktop | Mobile
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