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VIDEO: Police say they are ready for Sunday's derby

Northumbria Police says it is fully prepared ahead of its busiest weekend of the year. More officers than ever before will be on duty at Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby.

The game coincides with the last shopping weekend before Christmas - thousands of people will head to Newcastle city centre for last-minute shopping as well as festive events like pantomimes.

As Kenny Toal reports, police have changed their tactics and they are hoping the season of goodwill extends to both sets of supporters.

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Police promise more officers than previous derbies

Police say Sunday's Tyne-Wear derby will see more officers on duty than at any previous match.

The game is however being approached differently with no road closures and no marching of fans to the stadium.

Inspired by the generosity of Sunderland fans who raised thousands for charity following the tragic deaths of Liam Sweeney and John Alder, supporters are being asked to make it a day to remember for the right reasons.

Travel advice for derby day

It's the last weekend before Christmas and one of the biggest days in the football calendar for Newcastle and Sunderland fans, so the public are being warned of busy roads and car parks in Newcastle city centre.

Fans queue outside St James' Park after delayed match earlier this year. Credit: PA

Travel information:

Unlike previous derby days, Sunderland fans will not be separately escorted into St James' Park and police have not requested the council close roads.

Newcastle City Council are encouraging drivers to consider using car parks on the outskirts of the city centre and to plan ahead.

Percy Street in particular is likely to be extremely busy. As well as car parks on Percy Street there are others that people can use around the city centre. “There will be buses and Metros running on Sunday and we would encourage people to consider using them as well, instead of bringing their car into Newcastle."

– Andrew McKegney, Newcastle City Council

There will be extra Metro trains for football supporters attending the game and extra services for Christmas shoppers.

The non-stop, direct Metro trains for away fans are not being run at the request of the police.

10 years of Tyne & Wear derby results

Ahead of their derby this Sunday we look back at the results of the last 10 years of Premier League matches between Newcastle and Sunderland:

  • Wins for Newcastle = 5
  • Wins for Sunderland = 4
  • Draws = 5
Steven Taylor being fouled by former Sunderland player and now teammate Jack Colback Credit: PA

Sunderland lead the tally for the last ten games with four wins compared to two for Newcastle:

  • Feb 2014 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 0-3
  • Oct 2013 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 2-1
  • Apr 2013 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 0-3
  • Oct 2012 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 1-1
  • Mar 2012 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 1-1
  • Aug 2011 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 0-1
  • Jan 2011 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 1-1
  • Oct 2010 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 5-1
  • Feb 2009 - Newcastle vs. Sunderland 1-1
  • Oct 2008 - Sunderland vs. Newcastle 2-1

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SAFC fans can watch derby at Stadium of Light

Stadium of Light Credit: ITV

Sunderland AFC supporters can watch the weekend Tyne-Wear derby on home turf – even though their team is playing away.

The Stadium of Light doors will open to fans on December 21 for fans who are unable to make the trip to see the Black Cats battle the Magpies at Newcastle’s St James’ Park - but who still what a stadium atmosphere.

“The Black Cats’ clash with NUFC is always one of the most anticipated games of the season"

– Gary Hutchinson, Commercial Director at SAFC

No police escort for Sunderland fans

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Sunderland fans arriving in Newcastle for the derby next weekend (December 21) will not be escorted by police.

In previous years the away fans were surrounded by officers on their way to St James Park. But this year they will be able to mix with home fans.

The fixture falls on the last weekend before Christmas, on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

SAFC's Connor Wickham signs new deal

Sunderland's Connor Wickham has signed a new deal with the club. Credit: PA

Sunderland striker Connor Wickham has signed a four-year deal, keeping him at the club until 2019.

He arrived on Wearside, aged 18, in 2011, and has gone on to become an established first team player.

"I'm delighted that Connor has committed his future to us for the next few years.

"After his contribution at the end of last year, he continued to improve his football and become an important part of our team.

"He keeps learning, he is able to adapt to different positions up front and he is enjoying our philosophy of play so I'm really looking forward to keep working with him for the benefit of our club.

"I think it was very important to tie down a young English centre forward as there are not many around, this shows clearly the way this football club wants to progress."

– Sunderland manager Gus Poyet
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