Competition: Premier League – Everton vs. Sunderland
Venue: Goodison Park – Sunday, November 1 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)
Match Odds: Everton 4/9 – Draw 7/2 – Sunderland 6/1
The Toffees edged past Norwich on penalties in their midweek League Cup tie after a 1-1 draw, but they’re looking to rediscover some Premier League form having lost their previous two, albeit against Manchester United and Arsenal.
Roberto Martinez’s side are currently eleventh in the Premier League and need to improve on their poor home form so far this season, which has seen them win just one of their five games at Goodison (D2, L2).Embed from Getty Images
Six of Everton’s next nine Premier League fixtures, including this one, are against opposition in the bottom half of the table, so they’ll be looking to go on a run that can elevate them towards the top, starting with an important three points here.
Everton’s Premier League record: P10 – W3 – D4 – L3
Sunderland finally secured their first win of the Premier League season last weekend as they beat bitter rivals Newcastle 3-0 in the Wear-Tyne derby at the Stadium of Light.
New boss Sam Allardyce will be hoping that result will provide the boost of confidence that can turn their season around, but there is still a lot of work to be done, particularly addressing their dismal form on the road.
The Black Cats are eighteenth in the table and have picked up just one point on their travels this season, giving them the joint worst record in the league away from home.
Sunderland’s Premier League record: P10 – W1 – D3 – L6
Sunderland’s recent experiences at Goodison Park are promising, having won on their last two visits without conceding a goal – a third consecutive win at Everton would be the first time they’ve done so in the top-flight since 1904.
The last meeting between these two sides was that 2-0 win for Sunderland at Goodison Park in May – a result which helped keep them in the division.
Everton will be without skipper Phil Jagielka who is out for as long as two months with a knee injury. Seamus Coleman is also a major doubt as he’s suffering with a stomach bug, which also kept him out of their midweek game. On a positive note, both Leighton Baines and Muhamed Besic returned to training this week after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.Embed from Getty Images
Sunderland have a number of doubts as John O’Shea, Younes Kaboul and Ola Toivonen all suffered injuries in the win over Newcastle last weekend. A late decision will be made on their fitness, while Fabio Borini is likely to miss out because of an ankle problem.
Everton’s last five in the Premier League: D/W/D/L/L
Sunderland’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/D/L/W
Key Stat: Everton have only beaten Sunderland once in the last five meetings between the two sides (D1, L3).
Key Player: Ross Barkley – The young Englishman has contributed three goals and three assists from midfield already this season and the Toffees will be looking for him to really kick on and take the Premier League by storm in the next few months. He could be the game-changer on Sunday afternoon.
Everton 2-1 Sunderland – Everton showed signs of promise at Arsenal last weekend and it seems only a matter of time before consistent results start to come. Sunderland will be solid and compact under Sam Allardyce this season but they might not quite have enough to contain their hosts.