Premier League: Everton vs Sunderland match preview
A look ahead to the Boxing Day clash at Goodison Park
Wednesday 25 December 2013
Roberto Martinez’s honeymoon period as Everton manager shows no signs of ending, with Sunday’s 2-1 win over Swansea keeping the Toffees in fourth spot and extending their unbeaten run to 10 games.
Across Europe’s top leagues, only Roma and Bayern Munich have lost fewer league games this season than Everton, which illustrates the scale of Sunderland’s task as they look for a win that could lift them off the bottom of the table.
Despite their impressive League Cup triumph over Chelsea, Sunderland’s initial resurgence under Gus Poyet has come to something of a halt, with no wins in their last six league games. Sunderland have failed to score in four of those matches, and the visit to Everton pits their misfiring attackers against the country’s most parsimonious defence.
Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines have dispelled any doubts about their England credentials with a series of assured performances at the back, and they may yet be joined on the plane to Brazil by Ross Barkley, whose winner against Swansea on Sunday was the highlight so far of his eye-catching season. For Sunderland’s players, summer destinations will be the last thing on the minds, as they concentrate on putting an end to their winter of discontent.
KICK OFF: Thursday, 3pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS
Sunderland 1 (Sessegnon) Everton 0, Premier League, April 2013
Everton 2 (Fellaini, Jelavic) Sunderland 1 (Johnson), Premier League, November 2012
Everton 4 (Gueye, Pienaar, Osman, Anichebe) Sunderland 0, Premier League, April 2012
Sunderland’s 1-0 win over the Toffees in April was their first in 20 league and cup meetings.
The last time Sunderland won at Everton was in November 1996.
Bottom club Sunderland lead the league in own goals and red cards, with 5 each. No other club has recorded more than 2 of either.
Everton have conceded the fewest goals in the Premier League this season (16).
Everton to win: 1.36
Sunderland to win: 9
TV: Highlights on BBC1 at 10.25.
Latest in Sport
Gareth Bale reveals the two things he hates about Real Madrid: 'Getting nutmegged and Spanish spiders'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Six things we learnt: Louis van Gaal is watching a different Manchester United; Henderson becoming the genuine heir to Gerrard
Terminally-ill Club Brugge fan Lorenzo Schoonbaert delays euthanasia appointment to see his beloved football club 'win one last time'
Steven Gerrard tribute match: An alternative XI the Liverpool player wouldn't want crashing the Anfield party
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests