Kieran Richardson believes Sunderland are in the best possible shape heading into a Tyne-Wear derby.
The Black Cats play host to arch-rivals Newcastle on Saturday looking to secure a crucial three points and local bragging rights.
They have made a steady start to the 2008/09 campaign, establishing themselves in the safety of mid-table.
However, with fresh faces added over the summer, Richardson is convinced that Roy Keane's side now boast the quality to become a Premier League force.
"Our fans want to win this one badly and so do we," the tricky winger told the Daily Star.
"I really believe we can do it this time. If you look at the two squads you could argue that, man for man, we are at least as good as Newcastle and I don't think you'd have said that for a while.
"The gaffer's brought in quality like Djibril Cisse, Steed Malbranque and Anton (Ferdinand) and everything is starting to gel.
"Cisse in particular is looking very sharp and I'm certain the goals are going to flow very soon."