St James’ Park hit-man will start against Stadium of Light neighbours.
Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi will be hoping to continue his fine form against Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby tomorrow.
The 29-year-old striker has six goals to his name against the Black Cats over the years including a double in last season’s 5-1 rout at St James’ Park.
The Nigeria-born, but Tyneside-raised, hit-man as grown up with the rivalry in his ears and manager Alan Pardew believes this is the source of his success against the Black Cats.
Kevin Nolan’s hat-trick in the trashing may have stolen the headlines, but Ameobi’s performance alongside Andy Carroll set the platform.
Both team-mates have now gone and Pardew expects a new hero to come to the fore and etch his name into the history books.
“Shola has been here a long time and he has lived in the area, the Toon boss said.
“Everywhere you go, you are reminded, and Shola has had that for a number of years, so he knows that this is a massive game for the club and he probably gets himself up as high as he would for a cup final, and that bodes well.
“He will start on Saturday, I make no bones about that. He will be in the starting line-up.
“Every time a derby comes along, that vacancy is there for somebody,” he added.
“My experience of derbies is that you need to match the ferocity that is on the pitch, but usually the team which is calm and gets the ball down and plays are the victors.”