Relegation-threatened Sunderland will be aiming for back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season as they travel to Everton in Saturday’s early kick-off.
It will not be easy for the Black Cats, whose win at Goodison Park is their only one against the their hosts in the last 14 years home and away, and Everton come into this clash playing well, albeit looking to bounce back from a defeat at Aston Villa last time out. That result ended a six game unbeaten run.
Having performed at a level approaching their best in beating Manchester United 3-0, the Toffees started slowly in the West Midlands and struggled to cope with the physical presence of Christian Benteke. A second half improvement was not enough to earn a point, but here Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku will fancy a run at the away defence, which lacks pace in comparison.
Two coolly taken penalties from Jordi Gomez handed Sunderland a priceless victory over Southampton, but were not enough to lift them out of the drop zone as several of their fellow strugglers also picked up three points. However, it keeps them very much in touch, and here they have the chance to move out of the bottom three ahead of the games that start at 1500 BST.
Although there has been the odd collapse against Crystal Palace, the tactical adjustments made by Dick Advocaat have seen a change for the better. The greater emphasis on attack has resulted in more chances being created and more to feed off for the likes of Jermain Defoe and Connor Wickham.
Steven Pienaar may not play again this season for Everton after picking up a muscle injury, and they are also without Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo and Tony Hibbert.
This game may come too soon for Steven Fletcher, with Sunderland definitely without Ricky Alvarez, Emanuele Giaccherini and Wes Brown.
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