Di Canio believes his frontman can come good and help fire the Black Cats to safety in the absence of crocked 11-goal top scorer Steven Fletcher.
He said: "I know he is a Newcastle fan. It is not an issue. He left Newcastle and went around England for many years.
"Graham knows he needs to score and how important this game is. He has already proved in the past that he can score goals and he has worked very well in the last 10 days with me.
"He couldn't play on Sunday against Chelsea because he had a problem on Saturday.
"But he trained with us at the start of the week and did very well.
"In training, you can see he is one who will attack the six-yard box and will die to score. I'm sure he can be crucial for us.
"He only came in January and he wasn't fit as he didn't have a lot of games at Swansea. Their system did not help him either.
"But we have changed that and our system will involve him more and provide him with more chances. Now he is running and jumping like a kid.
"It's important to score in any game but a goal in the derby would be a big boost for Danny."