With news of Newcastle securing their return to the Premier League next season, local rivals Middlesbrough and Sunderland look to be heading the other way.
The game at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday may be pitting second-from-bottom Boro against David Moyes' basement side, but it is expected to be a fiery north-east derby.
While both teams looked doomed, Alvaro Negredo was hopeful that a positive result could help start a revival that could see the Teessiders survive the drop.
"Derbies are always a must-win game," the Spanish striker told the club's official website. "This game is very important as a derby, but also in the circumstances.
"Things can be turned around if we win and it can be a real boost for the next few games. Hopefully, we can get that result."
However, the Black Cats are targeting back-to-back wins this week, according to veteran striker Jermain Defoe.
For the England international, the game against Steve Agnew's men would give the Wearsiders and their fans confidence to tackle Bournemouth this weekend.
"Of course, you do that and the stadium's always rocking – I imagine the atmosphere will be unbelievable," Defoe said of the Cherries' visit, should his team win in midweek.
The 2-2 draw against West Ham last time out will no doubt give them the belief that they can overcome Boro, who were thrashed 4-0 by Bournemouth in their last game.
Win or lose, both clubs have an unrealistic mountain to climb to escape relegation to the Championship.
In team news, the visitors are still without injured defenders Billy Jones, Brian Oviedo and Paddy McNair, while goalkeeper Victor Valdes is the hosts' biggest concern.