Everton's last 5 domestic matches 2013/2014:Everton 4-0 Stoke
Everton FC v Sunderland AFC
Thursday 26th December 15:00
Premier League match 18
(Deulofeu, Coleman, Oviedo, Lukaku)Manchester United 0-1 Everton
(Oviedo)Arsenal 1-1 Everton
(Deulofeu)Everton 4-1 Fulham
(Osman, Coleman, Barry, Mirallas)Swansea 1-2 Everton
(Coleman, Barkley)Sunderland's last 5 domestic matches 2013/2014:Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea
(Altidore, O'Shea, Bardsley)Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham
(Johnson)West Ham 0-0 Sunderland Sunderland 2-1 Chelsea AET
- League Cup (Borini, Ki)Sunderland 0-0 Norwich
Everton extended their unbeaten run to 10 games as they won their 2-1 victory over Swansea secured their 5th win in 6 matches. It is also Everton's 4th away win of the season which equals the number of away wins that Everton had for the entire 2012/13 campaign. Also, Everton have now conceded the least amount of goals in the league following Southampton's 3-2 defeat at Tottenham and Tim Howard only conceding one goal against Swansea. Everton have now scored 20 goals in the second half of games compared to just 9 goals in the opening 45 minutes, only Manchester City (28) have scored more.
Only in the season which saw Everton finish 4th have they earned more points by Christmas day than this season and that is with one more game having been played so that 3 points could be secured by Roberto Martinez with victory over Sunderland in the next match. 1 game lost is a record for Everton at this stage of the season which is a real achievement in Roberto Martinez's first season which sees Everton just 2 points off the top of the table before Chelsea face Arsenal on Monday night.
Possible Line Ups
Sunderland come into this game on the back of a set of goalless draws away to West Ham and at home to Norwich in the Premier League, though they did beat Chelsea in the league cup quarter final in-between those fixtures. Sunderland are rooted to the bottom of the table but still only 4 points from safety as the table currently stands. Gus Poyet has improved Sunderland's results with 9 points from a possible 30 in the premier league compared to the 1 point that Paolo Di Canio gained from the opening 24 points available.
One of Sunderland's many problems this season has been their inability to turn around losing positions. Sunderland haven't picked up a single point this season from the 11 times they've faced adversity in matches. Only Crystal Palace (11) have scored less goals than Sunderland this season (12) and it's a lack of goals which is highlighted by their league top scorer being on just 2 goals this season. Sunderland are the highest scorers in their own net this season with 5 own goals to their name already.
Stats and Injuries/Suspensions
Everton will definitely be without the trio of Darron Gibson, Arouna Kone
and Gerard Deulofeu
who are all nursing longer term injuries whilst they could also be without Nikica Jelavic
who was absent from the Swansea squad with illness as well as Steven Pienaar
who was forced off with a hip injury. Leighton Baines
could return from injury.
Sunderland will be Keiren Westwood
and Carlos Cuellar
who are nursing injuries whilst John O'Shea
is likely to miss out with a shoulder injury picked up in his last outing. Both of Sunderland's first choice centre-backs will be missing as Wes Brown
is suspended after picking up a red card in Sunderland's last match.
Sunderland got their first win against Everton in 12 years in a 1-0 win the last time the two teams met in Paolo Di Canio's first home game last season. This fixture at Goodison Park resulted in a 2-1 win the blues last season as Fellaini and Jelavic got on the score sheet late on to get the three points.