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v Man Utd

Sunday 20 April K.O. 16:10

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Goodison Park | 26th December 2013 15:00 | Attendance - 39193

Everton v Sunderland

Team News

Leighton Baines is in line to make his return from injury against Sunderland on Boxing Day, Roberto Martinez has confirmed.

The left-back has missed five games since fracturing a toe in last month's 3-3 draw with Liverpool but is likely to be fit to feature against the Black Cats.

Martinez also confirmed striker Nikica Jelavic missed Sunday's win at Swansea after feeling a tightness in his hamstring during the warm-up at the Liberty Stadium, meaning he will need to be assessed in the coming days.

South African Steven Pienaar should be fine after limping out of the victory in South Wales, while Sylvain Distin is also set to overcome a minor knock.

Leighton BainesLeighton Baines is expected to be fit for the visit of the Black Cats.

"Leighton Baines is getting really close and I think it's fair to say that, depending how today and tomorrow go, he should be available for Wednesday, which is terrific news," said Martinez.

"We didn't pick up any knocks yesterday, only Nikica Jelavic who, before the game, felt his hamstring a little bit. But he should be fine for Wednesday as it's only a minor injury.

"Stevie should be fine. We'll assess him today but I think 48 hours should be enough time for him to shake the knock off.

"And Sylvain had a knock, but he's fine and I don't expect anyone to be missing the squad on Wednesday."

Form

Sunderland head to Goodison Park unbeaten in their last three games, though manager Gus Poyet admitted following Saturday's goalless home draw with Norwich City that his side are running out to time if they are to escape relegation this term.

After 17 Premier League games, the Black Cats are bottom of the table on 10 points, four adrift of 17th-placed West Ham United.

They've won just twice in the league all season, though last Tuesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Chelsea will breed confidence that a great escape can be achieved.

Sunderland Sunderland reached the Capital One Cup semi-finals by beating Chelsea last week but have won just twice in the league this term.

Everton's 2-1 win at Swansea on Sunday extended their unbeaten run to nine games, with Roberto Martinez's men having won three of their last four outings.

The Blues are also just two games away from going an entire calendar year without tasting league defeat at Goodison Park.

Last Meeting

Last season's trip to the Stadium of Light ended in disappointment as midfielder Stephane Sessegnon grabbed the only goal to halt Everton's run of five games without defeat.

Struggling Sunderland went into the game on the back of their first win at rivals Newcastle United in 13 years after then-manager Paolo Di Canio had masterminded a 3-0 win at St James' Park.

Nikica Jelavic wheels away after bagging Everton's winner against Sunderland at Goodison Park in November 2012.Nikica Jelavic wheels away after bagging Everton's winner against Sunderland at Goodison Park in November 2012.

And the confidence gained from that result was in evidence as the Toffees failed to break down their resilient hosts.

At Goodison in November, Marouane Fellaini and Nikica Jelavic both struck in a three-minute spell as the Toffees came from behind to beat the Black Cats 2-1.

What's Happening At Goodison

Fans can head to Goodison Park early on Thursday to soak up the atmosphere in the Fan Zone, with music, giveaways and plenty more going on  in the build-up to kick off.

Evertonians will also be able to meet their Blues heroes as they arrive at the Players' Parade from 12.30pm, while a free Everton photo booth will be situated in the Park End car park, allowing you to capture a memory of your Boxing Day outing to cheer on Roberto Martinez's Blue army.

Fan ZoneThe Everton Fan Zone will be in full swing from 1pm.

Inside the stadium, look out for highlights of previous games against Sunderland, plus a showing of our popular festive video, 'Bring Me Sunshine'.




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