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SAFC v Everton: U21s Action At The SOL Tonight

Andy Welsh's side are looking to get back to winning ways tonight against Everton, having lost last week 1-0 against Leicester City.

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Last Monday night's disappointing 1-0 loss against Leicester City at the Eppleton Colliery Welfare ground, coupled with Manchester United's win at Middlesbrough, means Sunderland have dropped to second place in the Barclays U21s Premier League.

If Sunderland are to have any chance of staying in contention when it comes to winning the league, they must win tonight. Manchester United don't play until Friday evening, against Liverpool, so three points against Everton would take us back to the top of the league, for a few days at least.

Match Details

Kick Off: 7:45pm @ Stadium of Light.

Entry Price: Season card holders can attend tonight's game free of charge. For non-season card holders, admission is £3 for adults and £1 for OAPs/U16s.

Stand: Turnstiles 1-8 and 17-24 will be open.

Coverage: BT Sport 1, 19:30pm. Barring that, follow @GRokerReport on Twitter, who will be covering the game live from the stands for us.

Betting

Skybet are offering 5/6 for a Sunderland win tonight, which seems decent value considering our league position and the fact that we've won both of our other two league games played at the Stadium of Light this season.

You can get 12/5 for a draw, whilst Everton are priced at 5/2 to take all three points.

If you fancy a risk, Everton or draw is evens.

You can get a full list of potential markets here.

Preview

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Former Arsenal full back Emmanuel Eboue played in last week's game against Leicester and is expecting to feature again this evening. Eboue - who Sam Allardyce has confirmed has been offered a contract - is lacking in match-fitness and another ninety minutes, on the Stadium of Light pitch, can do him no harm.

Everton are unbeaten in their last nine outings and enjoyed an impressive 2-0 win over Manchester United at the start of February. They haven't played since the 15th of last month, a game they won 3-1 against Southampton.

Jordan Pickford is expected to come into goal, replacing James Talbot.

The rest of the back four is expected to be the same as always, with Thomas Robson at left back and the partnership of George Brady and Tom Beadling shoring up the middle of the Sunderland back line.

Liam Agnew and Martin Smith have been away from the club training with Bradford City and Carlisle respectively, so whether both start this game remains to be seen. Ola Toivonen and Sebastian Larsson are both set to start, most likely in midfield.

Up front, we're likely to see Rees Greenwood and Carl Lawson either side of Mikael Mandron, with George Honeyman playing as a number ten.

Last Time We Met

A fairly strong Sunderland side - featuring Vito Mannone, Wes Brown, Valentin Roberge, Charis Mavrias and Duncan Watmore - were unable to defeat an Everton side containing Joel Robles, Darron Gibson and Leon Osman, with the game ending a 1-1 draw.

Last Time Out

Sunderland were defeated 1-0 by tenth-placed Leicester City last Monday night at Eppleton Colliery Welfare, with the Foxes awarded a controversial penalty late on in the game.

Emmanuel Eboue was the main focus of the attention, with both Sam Allardyce and Paul Bracewell in the crowd to take in the game and see how well the Ivorian defender got on.

Eboue has been training with the club for a number of weeks in a bid to win a contract and it appears he's done enough to get a short term deal, despite looking rusty in last Monday's game.

It was a bitter blow to Andy Welsh's team, who needed to win that game to stay ahead of second place Manchester United.