Sunderland v Everton
It remains to be seen whether Leon Osman will be fit enough to return to the fold after missing the trip to the Emirates Stadium through injury, although Tony Hibbert could come in contention to return to the squad after completing 90 minutes in the Under-21s’ 2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Monday. Ross Barkley could keep his place at the Stadium of Light following his stirring display against Arsenal on Tuesday evening.
Paolo Di Canio will definitely be without 11-goal striker Steven Fletcher and captain Lee Cattermole after both were ruled out for the season with knee and ankle problems respectively. Craig Gardner is also unavailable as he completes his two-game suspension having collected 10 bookings this season. January signing Danny Graham is likely to spearhead the Black Cats’ forward line.
Last outing: 0-0 (a) Arsenal, Tuesday 16 April
Last six: LWWDWD
Everton travel to Wearside two points adrift of the European places and unbeaten in their last five matches. The Blues have kept clean sheets in four of those games, scoring seven goals in the process.
Last outing: 3-0 (a) Newcastle, Sunday 14 April
Last six: DLDLLW
Sunderland’s dramatic win at St James’ Park last weekend was their first in the Premier League since the 3-2 triumph over Wigan in mid-January. The Black Cats had slipped perilously close to the drop-zone but Di Canio’s first victory as boss elevated them to 15th position with five matches remaining.
1) David Moyes has never lost to Sunderland as manager of Everton. This sequence stretches over 18 matches, 12 of which have been victories.
2) Goals are more or less guaranteed on Saturday as it has been 33 matches since the last nil-nil stalemate between the clubs. This last scoreless draw was on Boxing Day 1983.
3) Should Leon Osman regain full fitness and line up against Sunderland on Saturday, it would represent his 250th Premier League start for Everton.
Everton 2-1 Sunderland, 10 November 2012
A late rally saw Everton fight back from a goal down to take all three points in this season’s corresponding fixture at Goodison Park. Adam Johnson struck his first goal for Sunderland to give the Black Cats the lead on the stroke of half-time, but the Toffees’ dominance paid off with two goals in quick succession. Marouane Fellaini drilled in a 76th-minute equaliser before Nikica Jelavic steered home to mark David Moyes’ 400th league game as Everton boss with a win.
Sunderland 0-2 Everton, 3 May 2009
Everton’s last Premier League victory at the Stadium of Light was in May 2009, a result sealed courtesy of goals from Steven Pienaar and Marouane Fellaini. Struggling Sunderland, who had won one of their previous 10 matches, matched the Blues during the first half but a poked shot from the South African midfielder shortly after the interval and a 12-yard finish from the Belgian international midway through the second period saw David Moyes’ team to all three points.
Players who have played for both clubs include Thomas Myhre, Paul Bracewell, Alan Stubbs, Kevin Kilbane, John Oster, Gavin McCann and Don Hutchison. Striker Louis Saha – now with Lazio – had a six-month spell with Sunderland earlier this season but failed to score in any of his 14 appearances for the club.
Everton last played a fixture on 20 April in 2005 – a 1-0 home victory over Manchester United thanks to Gwladys Street hero Duncan Ferguson. In fact, David Moyes has won both matches played on that date as Everton boss, the other being a 1-0 away win against Southampton in the Club’s first visit to St Mary’s in April 2002.
Referee: Phil Dowd
Assistant referee: S Ledger
Assistant referee: A Halliday
Fourth official: C Pawson
Everton have sold out the away allocation of 2624 tickets for Saturday’s game. Supporters not making the journey to the North East can follow live updates via the Club’s Twitter account @Everton or listen to live commentary on evertonfc.com from 2.55pm. Alternatively, watch a screening of the game in the 1878 Brasserie at Goodison Park – click here for more information.
Our official online betting partner Paddy Power are offering a range of odds on Saturday’s game. Here's our pick of the best:
Everton to win: 6/5
Marouane Fellaini to score first: 7/1
Leighton Baines to score at any time: 5/1
Everton to win 3-1: 16/1
Everton to win both halves: 6/1