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Team News: Jermain Defoe returns for Sunderland at Newcastle United

Jermain Defoe returns to the Sunderland starting lineup for Sunday afternoon's Tyne-Wear derby against fellow Premier League strugglers Newcastle United.

Jermain Defoe has returned to the Sunderland starting lineup for this afternoon's crucial Tyne-Wear derby against fellow Premier League strugglers Newcastle United.

The Black Cats' top scorer's inclusion - in place of Dame N'Doye - is the only change made by Sam Allardyce from the 1-1 draw at Southampton a fortnight ago.

For the hosts, Rafael Benitez makes two changes from Monday night's narrow defeat at league leaders Leicester City for his first home game in charge.

Chancel Mbemba returns from injury to replace Steven Taylor in defence, while Andros Townsend is preferred to Vurnon Anita in midfield.

Papiss Cisse is also back on the Magpies' bench after three months out injured.

Newcastle United: Elliot; Janmaat, Mbemba, Lascelles, Colback; Shelvey, Sissoko; Townsend, Wijnaldum; Perez, Mitrovic
Subs: Darlow, Taylor, Anita, Saivet, De Jong, Riviere, Cisse

Sunderland: Mannone; Yedlin, Kone, Kaboul, Van Aanholt; Kirchhoff, M'Vila, Rodwell; Khazri, Borini; Defoe
Subs: Jones, Cattermole, Pickford, N'Doye, O'Shea, Lens, Toivonen

Join us for live text coverage of the pivotal North-East derby on Sports Mole here.

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Sam Allardyce bellows during the Premier League game between Southampton and Sunderland on March 5, 2016
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Allardyce: 'Tyne-Wear derby one of the biggest'

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