Premier League Preview and Prediction: Sunderland vs Everton

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

Match Preview

Sunderland host Everton in this week’s Monday Night Football clash at the Stadium of Light, with the Black Cats desperate for a win after another slow start to the season.

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City vs. Sunderland

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, August 13 – 17:30 BST (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Man City 1/4 – Draw 19/4 – Sunderland 11/1

Match Preview

Manchester City kick off their 2016/17 Premier League campaign and new era under manager Pep Guardiola at home against Sunderland on Saturday evening.

It’s certainly an exciting time to be a City fan and they will be expecting their side to get off to a winning start here. Fans will be demanding much more than last seasons finish of 4th, they scraped into a Champions League playoff place and given Guardiola’s winning mentality, that would be a complete failure this time around.

Guardiola has made some big money signings throughout the summer transfer window and he will be expecting the new additions, along with the quality in the current squad, to make a strong challenge to win the Premier League.

Manchester City have a strong home record against Sunderland. They have won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the sides in all competitions. And if previous results are anything to go by we could be in for a goal-fest here, as City have scored at least three goals against Sunderland in seven of their last eight home meetings.

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Sunderland will be looking to avoid another relegation battle this season and the club have replaced Sam Allardyce with David Moyes. It is a good appointment for the club, as despite his struggles at Manchester United, Moyes has a wealth of Premier League experience.

The Black Cats stayed up by two points at the end of last season, thanks to the guidance of Allardyce, and it is now time for them to try and push to the next level. A mid-table finish will be an achievable target if Sunderland can iron out their defensive issues that nearly cost them last season.

Moyes has just started to make some summer signings, while some long-term servants have departed the club. There is quality in the Sunderland side, but they have to build a team around a core of players to prove tougher opposition this season.

Sunderland couldn’t have had it much more difficult in their opening game. The buzz around City will be a huge task for them to deal with, but if they can take anything away from their opening weekend fixture confidence will be sky-high. This will be an interesting tie to watch.

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Team News

Manchester City have added the likes of Ilkay Gundogan (£21m), Nolito (£13.8m), Leroy Sane (£37m) and most recently John Stones (£47.5m) to their squad. Guardiola already has some selection headaches as Gundogan, Sane and captain Vincent Kompany are unlikely to feature until September through injuries. Stones has a huge task ahead of him to step up to the mark and fill in for Kompany in the heart of the City defence. We can expect Guardiola to setup with a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Sergio Aguero leading the line. Nolito could make his debut out on the left flank, while David Silva is likley to start in the number ten role. Kevin De Bruyne will more than likely start on the right. So far City have only seen two players depart, goalkeeper Richard Wright and Martin Demichelis are their completed outs.

Sunderland have released Wes Brown, Steve Harper and Danny Graham ahead of this season. Their completed ins are former United players Donald Love and Paddy McNair. David Moyes must utilise Jermaine Defoe and build a team to feed their frontman. He netted 15 goals in 33 appearances last season and if they can supply him he will be able to cause opposition defenders headaches like he has done his whole career. There are some concerns about Defoe’s fitness as well as Sebastian Larsson, Jan Kirchhoff and Billy Jones, all four players will be racing to get fit for their opener.

Key Points

Manchester City’s last five: N/A

Sunderland’s last five: N/A

Key Stat: Guardiola saw his Bayern side lose just twice last season, once at home and once away, and they won 15 of their 17 home games. If that is anything to go by we could expect City to become a formidable force at home this season.

Key Player: Sergio Aguero – The obvious choice but Aguero is so integral to City. If Guardiola can get his squad playing his style, Aguero will score for fun. The Argentine goal-machine is so deadly and he will be relishing the battle to win the golden boot this season and fire City to silverware.

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Score Prediction

Manchester City 3-0 Sunderland – City to start off with a bang. This is going to be a very difficult task for Sunderland. While many people have tipped Guardiola to find the Premier League very difficult to adapt to, he will have his side ready to go here. Sunderland will be pleased to get one of the toughest places to visit out of the way so early on.

Sunderland looking to employ former United boss as new manager – report

Sunderland have made former Manchester United and Everton manager David Moyes their number one target for the managerial job next season, according to the Sun.

The club are resigned to losing Dick Advocaat at the end of the campaign as the Dutchman is set to retire from football, and so Sunderland bosses are already looking for a new man to take the hot seat at the Stadium of Light next term.

Moyes is seen as an ideal candidate for the job if the Black Cats can convince him to leave Spanish side Real Sociedad after just one season.

The Scottish coach joined Sociedad in November and will see his team finish 12th in his first campaign in Spanish football, but could be tempted by an offer to return to the Premier League with Sunderland.

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Any choice will depend on whether the Wearsiders retain their Premier League status next year as there is still a chance they will be relegated, but that is unlikely, and so Moyes could be approached soon.

Sources close to the former United boss have reportedly said there has not been any contact from the Black Cats but an approach is expected in the coming months.

Would David Moyes be a good appointment as Sunderland manager? Should he return to the Premier League?

Does Manchester United’s recent run of form show that Louis Van Gaal is what they needed?

With Manchester United having recorded five wins on the bounce for the first time in nearly two years, they extended their great run of form with victory over Liverpool today.

Louis Van Gaal had a shaky start to his career as United boss, but everything seems to be going their way at the moment.

Winning games being the key, no matter how they’re doing it, they’re ensuring that the three points are rolling in each week.

Manchester United’s winning streak:

Manchester United 1-0 Crystal Palace (8/11/14)

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United (22/11/14)

Manchester United 3-0 Hull City (29/11/14)

Manchester United 2-1 Stoke City (02/12/14)

Southampton 1-2 Manchester United (08/12/14)

Manchester United 3-0 Liverpool (14/12/14)

Beating any side in the Premier League is no easy task and United have risen to the challenge, beating Arsenal away and holding out tight margins with wins against Stoke at home and early high flyers Southampton away.

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With only one loss in their previous 11 games, things are looking good during this hectic festive period.

Their winning streak means that they have kept pace with Manchester City and league leaders Chelsea. The Red Devils are just eight points off top spot now, something not many people would have predicted to be the case given their start to the season.

Whether it’s the experience that Van Gaal is bringing to the side or if it’s the way he captivates the dressing room, it is working. And it is so apparent with the belief shown in the players.

Goalkeeper David De Gea has put in some of the best performances of his career in recent weeks to prove the confidence is flowing through the side. The Spaniard put in an incredible display in today’s 3-0 win against Liverpool and things are looking up.

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The approach to each game is looking more and more positive each week, something we just didn’t see happening while David Moyes was in charge last season.

Without the distraction of European competitions this season Van Gaal’s men look to be in a really strong position to be finishing in a Champions League spot, which is vital so that they can build strong foundations for next season.

Things can only keep improving, and with the likes of Radamel Falcao working his way back to full fitness, United have some great options.

Louis Van Gaal will be delighted with the progress his side is making and will not care what any critics have to say about the playing style, because as we all know it’s not about how you got the three points, it’s making sure that you did.

Is Louis Van Gaal the right man for United and will we see them back to their best now?