Everton welcome Sunderland to Goodison on Saturday looking to get back to winning ways after four consecutive draws.
David Moyes’ men are clinging onto fourth spot in the league while Sunderland sit four points clear of the relegation zone with a single league win to their name. The reliance on star signing Steven Fletcher for goals has become unhealthy and must be rectified or Martin O’Neill’s men will find themselves battling for their place in the top flight.
Fletcher has scored five of their six league goals this season, with the only other coming courtesy of a Demba Ba own goal in the 1-1 draw against Newcastle.
O’Neill, who is already under pressure, is confident the goals will come and – with one of the best defensive records in the league – it would likely help Sunderland climb the table.
KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Everton 4 (Gueye, Pienaar, Osman, Anichebe) Sunderland 0, Premier League, April 2012
Sunderland 0 Everton 2 (Jelavic, Vaughan OG), FA Cup, March 2012
Everton 1 (Cahill) Sunderland 1 (Bardsley), FA Cup, March 2012
Everton have not lost to Sunderland since David Moyes has been manager of the club, a run that has stretched 17 games and has included 12 wins.
The Toffees have not kept a clean sheet in the top flight since September.
Sunderland are winless in their past five matches in all competitions.
Goodison Park is not a happy hunting ground for the Black Cats. Having been beaten there 7-1 in 2007 and 5-0 in 1999, the last time Sunderland won away at Everton was in November 1996 as an 18-year-old Michael Bridges brace helped Peter Reid's men to a 3-1 victory.
Everton to win: 1.47
Sunderland to win: 7.25
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.50pmReuse content