Competition: Premier League – Sunderland vs. Everton
Venue: Stadium of Light – Monday, September 12 – 20:00 BST (15:00 ET)
Match Odds: Sunderland 12/5 – Draw 12/5 – Everton 11/10
David Moyes will need to rally his troops to try and beat the club he managed for 11 years and their 1-1 draw at Southampton two weeks ago should inspire some confidence.
Sunderland have scored in every game so far this term, but their only home game ended in a very disappointing 2-1 defeat to local rivals Middlesbrough. A much better display is needed here.
They will be confident of getting a result against the Toffees here, given the fact they’ve only lost one of their last seven at home to Everton in the top flight.
Ronald Koeman has started life on Merseyside well, picking up seven points from their opening three games. They come into Monday’s game off the back of the 1-0 home win against Stoke and will be looking for three more points here.
The Toffees faithful are not best pleased about their transfer business this summer but they now need to focus solely on picking up results. They may have lost John Stones, but keeping Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku is a huge boost.
Koeman could become the first Everton manager since 1919 to win his first two away games in charge, with Thomas McIntosh the last to do so 97 years ago.
Last year’s meeting at the Stadium of Light ended 3-0 to Sunderland, with Everton winning the reverse fixture 6-2, so another goal fest could be on the cards here.
Sunderland’s record signing Didier N’Dong is in line to make his debut but may have to come off the bench after playing 90 minutes for Gabon on Tuesday. Jan Kirchhoff is available for David Moyes for the first time this season, while Seb Larsson, Vito Mannone, Fabio Borini and Billy Jones are all out. Lee Cattermole is back in training and may start.
Everton could start with Seamus Coleman for the first time this season, with the Irish fullback fit again. Tom Cleverley and Darron Gibson are doubts, with James McCarthy, Tyias Browning, Matthew Pennington and Muhamed Besic all sidelined. Deadline day loan signing Enner Valencia is set to be in the squad.
Sunderland’s form: L/L/D
Everton’s form: D/W/W
Key Stat: Sunderland have not won a Premier League game in the months of August or September for four years, losing 13 of the 22 games in these months since a win over Wigan in 2012.
Key Player: Jermain Defoe – The Sunderland striker has already scored twice this season and is the home team’s biggest goal threat. He has five goals against Everton in the Premier League – all of which have come at Goodison Park – and will expect to add to his tally here if the hosts are to get anything out of the contest.
Sunderland 1-1 Everton – There is little to choose between these sides ahead of Monday night’s clash but the home side will setup to avoid a second home defeat of the season against an attack-minded Everton team. Both look set to score, though they could play out a draw, on what could be a nervous encounter.