Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 11/10
New Sunderland manager David Moyes takes on his former club hoping to record the first victory of the season and steer the Black Cats away from the relegation zone. That will be no easy task though considering that the Toffes have enjoyed a brilliant start under Ronald Koeman, and they could climb to second with a win at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland have been the epitome of a basement club, having spent last few years in and around the relegation zone, but they have so far managed to avoid dropping into the Championship. New England manager Sam Allardyce did well to help the team survive the previous Premier League campaign and now David Moyes hopes to do the same. The Black Cats have made quite a few signings this summer, adding the likes of Djilobodji, McNair, Love, Januzaj, Pienaar, Manquillo, Mika, Ndong, Denayer and Anichebe to their ranks, but it remains to be seen whether they’ve got enough quality to survive the drop. The team have failed to impress in the opening exchanges, suffering back to back defeats to Manchester City and Middlesbrough before sharing spoils with Southampton, and they are clearly under pressure ahead of the Everton clash. With so many new signings in a short period of time, Sunderland will need some time to gel, and with games against Everton and Spurs coming up, they could struggle to put an end to their winless streak, especially with quite a few players currently unavailable for selection.
Jordan Pickford should continue in goal in spite of the arrival of Mika Domingues, but Victor Anichebe is unlikely to feature as he lacks match fitness.
Jan Kirchhoff is back in contention, while Lee Cattermole faces a fitness test and Brad Jones, Sebastian Larsson, Fabio Borini and Vito Mannone are out injured.
After both David Moyes and Roberto Martinez failed to take Everton to the next level, it is no Ronald Koeman’s turn to try and succeed where these two have failed. The former Southampton boss did stay without Tim Howard and John Stones, but he signed some very good players in Ashley Williams, Ibrahima Gueye, Yannick Bolasie and Enner Valencia, while keeping hold of Romelu Lukaku in spite of heavy interest in his services. Everton in turn enjoyed a very good start to the new campaign, sharing spoils with Spurs before beating West Brom away and Stoke at home, and they now have an excellent opportunity to defeat out-of-sorts Sunderland and climb to Champions League positions. The good news is that Ross Barkley appears to have stabilised his form, whereas the back line again looks rock-solid with Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams forming the centre-back pairing. And seeing that Seamus Coleman is finally fit after recovering from injury, the Toffees have every right to feel optimistic ahead of the trip to the Stadium of Light. Having ended a six-match winless run on the road in EPL by defeating West Bromwich, Everton will be looking for more of the same when they face Sunderland on Monday evening.
Seamus Coleman should start after proving his fitness while on international duty, but James McCarthy continues to miss out.
Darron Gibson and Muhamed Besic are sidelined as well, but Tom Cleverley has an outside chance of making the matchday squad.
Key Factors to Consider
- Their two meetings last season produced 11 goals
- Sunderland won just two of last 12 home games vs Everton (D4 L6)
- Under 2.5 goals were scored in 9 of their last 13 meetings
- Everton ended a six-match winless run on the road against West Brom
- Sunderland are winless in last four Premier League games
Sunderland are completely out of form and missing a host of first team footballers, so they will struggle to match high-flying Everton that are full of confidence after three successive wins in all competitions. Therefore, we are backing the Toffees to pile more misery on their former manager and his new side.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 11/10
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