Sunderland v Everton - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Saturday 12th April 2014 at 15:07. Venue: Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Odds: Sunderland 21/5, Draw 11/4, Everton 5/6

Last season: 1-0

Preview & injury news

Sunderland are in desperate trouble going into this game as they are bottom of the Premier League, and despite taking the lead in their 5-1 defeat to Tottenham, it's hard to see where their next win is coming from. Everton, however, could lift themselves into the Champions League places with a win this weekend after their comprehensive victory over their rivals for fourth place, Arsenal, last time out.

The home side have lost six of their last seven Premier League games which means they are seven points from safety. However, they do have two games in hand on their rivals above them but they need a win here given that their run-in includes away games against Manchester City and Chelsea. Everton's form is rather different given they have won each of their last six league games, which leaves them a point behind the Champions League places with a game in hand on fourth-placed Arsenal.

On the injury front, there are no fresh injury worries for Sunderland after their loss at White Hart Lane last weekend. Goalkeeper Kieren Westwood is sidelined with a long-term shoulder injury whilst Steven Fletcher is still struggling with an ankle problem.

For Everton, their injury list is a little more extensive - which probably makes this good run of form they're on even better. Leon Osman had to be substituted early on during the win over Arsenal because of a clash with Bacary Sagna, which left Osman with a black eye. Phil Jagielka is still sidelined with a hamstring injury - he wasn't risked last weekend so may sit this one out. On-loan striker Lacina Traore is still recovering from a hamstring problem whilst Steven Pienaar has a knee injury. Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo are unlikely to feature again this season but Darron Gibson is close to returning to full training after a long-term knee injury.

Key stats

Here are the top scorers from the two teams in the Premier League so far this season:

Romelu Lukaku Everton FW 13 25 2,023
Adam Johnson Sunderland MF 8 29 1,906
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 6 30 2,689
Kevin Mirallas Everton MF 6 30 2,151
Fabio Borini Sunderland FW 3 25 1,534
Steven Fletcher Sunderland FW 3 20 1,223

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Everton 55.44 32
Sunderland 45.65 31

And the amount of clean sheets they have kept:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Everton 12 32
Sunderland 8 31

5 players to watch

Fabio Borini - There have been times this season when Borini has been Sunderland's man for the big occasion, and with the relegation trap door drawing ever closer, the occasions are getting bigger and bigger. The home side could do with a big performance and a big goal from the Italian as they look to get a good result this weekend.

Gareth Barry - Barry has been terrific this season for Everton in the midfield and with the side in a strong position, his presence is more vital than ever. There may be a couple of nervy moments for Evertonians which will be the time for the experienced midfielder to stand up and take control of proceedings. His presence in the closing games are going to crucial for the Toffees.

Lee Cattermole - He managed to get his first goal last week against Spurs, but against a very good Everton midfield this weekend Cattermole will have to step up his game and put in one of his best performances. He'll need to break up the play, be disciplined and use possession to good effect against a hard working unit that likes to press and look after the ball.

Ross Barkley - He must surely be a candidate for young player of the season and is possibly the most exciting talent in English football at the moment. He's a good reader of the game, got a good eye for goal and can pick a pass. If Sunderland are staying resolute, Barkley could be the man to open up their defence.  

Wes Brown - Brown is going to be in for a busy afternoon as he is the man that will have to deal with the huge presence of Romelu Lukaku. Sunderland have been leaking a few goals lately and Brown is going to have to stand up and be counted as they try to avoid the drop. If he can somehow keep Lukaku quiet and help tighten up the back line, it could be a big afternoon in Sunderland's season.

Earlier on in the season

Everton 0-1 Sunderland, December 2013

This was a bit of a shock as Everton lost their unbeaten home record to the struggling Black Cats. Midway through the first half the home side were reduced to ten men after goalkeeper Tim Howard fouled Ki Sung-Yeung in the penalty area, and the Toffees' goalkeeper was given his marching orders. Ki scored the penalty as Vincent Manone thwarted Everton's efforts to get back into the game to hang on to a precious three points.

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