Preview: Finally An End To Sunderland's Mersey Misery?

Moyes has our number.

There's not much time to recover from the game against Spurs on Saturday as it's right back into the action to take on Everton, again, today at Goodison Park.

I don't know about anyone else, but after the last few games, I'm a little sick of the sight of Everton at the moment, but the FA Fixture Gods have decreed that we play them for the third time in around a month. There's not much we can do about that, so let's just crack right on with our preview. We've got the team news, a trip down memory lane, some betting some music and a bit more, so come join us...

Sunderland Team News

After Martin O'Neill said last week he wants to give the likes of Connor Wickham, Ji Dong-Won and David Meyler some game time before the end of the season, I think we'll see at least 3 or 4 changes to the side which played in the drab 0-0 with Tottenham two days ago.

I fully expect Simon Mignolet to sit behind a back four of Phil Bardsley, Michael Turner, Matt Kilgallon, and at left-back I think we'll see Wayne Bridge return to the side. Kieran Richardson is fit again, but could come too soon for a start, where as Jack Colback must surely be moved back into midfield.

In that midfield everyone's place is up for grabs. James McClean's place would seem fairly safe, but of course we could drop in Ahmed Elmohamady or even Kieran Richardson. With Lee Cattermole picking up a knock against Spurs, look for him to be replaced as he was on Saturday by David Vaughan.

In attack, Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklas Bendtner will surely lead the line once again, but Ji Dong-Won, Fraizer Campbell or Connor Wickham could all make significant impact's from the bench.

Everton Team News

Everton must surely have an eye on the FA Cup semi-final with Liverpool on Saturday, meaning anyone with the slightest of knocks could sit out.

It looks as though having missed out against Norwich City on Saturday, Leon Osman and Jack Rodwell will both sit this one out, while we'll be hoping that in-form striker Nikica Jelavic is given a rest in place of Denis Straqualursi or Victor Anichebe, who has been begging for more games recently in the local press.

Outside of that though I don't think there'll be a ton of changes. We've said it for a while, but Everton are quite similar to ourselves in terms of quality, and personnel available, which means not much room for change, and it looks like this will be another tight game.

Predicted Lineups

SAFC: Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Kilgallon, Bridge; McClean, Colback, Vaughan, Gardner; Sessegnon, Bendtner

EFC: Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Gibson, Pienaar, Cahill, Straqualursi

Classic Encounter

You have to go fairly far back for a Sunderland win, especially since over the last month we've covered most the recent and rare victories over Everton. This time we're going back to the 1964/65 season, where over 41,000 crammed into Roker Park on a cold November afternoon to see us smash the Scouse side 4-0. A goal a piece for the front four of Harry Hood, George Herd, George Mulhall and Nick Sharkey insured this was a game to remember.

Get Rich Quick

We're on a hot streak at the minute with the bets, so look for that to end today as I step up and bring you my best bets for today's game!...

  • There's been quite a few draws between us, including two 1-1 draws already this season. If you fancy a repeat of that, you can get fairly decent odds of 6/1 at William Hills.
  • It's been a while since a defender got on the scoresheet, and Michael Turner, for me is due one of his few goals for the season. You can get odds on him scoring at any time around 16/1 or to open the scoring at 40/1.
  • Finally, we've took the lead and allowed Everton equalise twice already this season, so if you fancy us to be up at half-time before throwing it all away for a draw, you can get odds at 12/1.

Song For Whoever

This game's track is fairly self-explanatory so I'm not going to particular list the reasons why this classic song has been chosen. It's The Beach Boys with "Do It Again"...

Prediction

Like it always is, apart from that FA Cup replay, I think this game will be exceedingly tight. At the same time, I'm not confident particularly either. On our podcast I went for a 0-0, and it still feels the right scoreline. Two tired sides with minds elsewhere should equate to a relatively dull encounter. I'll take that over getting beat though any day of the week!

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