Derby win perfect fillip for Big Sam to save Sunderland

It may have taken a large slice of fortune in the shape of Fabricio Coloccini’s first-half red card, but Sam Allardyce would surely have taken a derby win in whatever fashion it may have arrived.

Sunderland’s 3-0 success over Newcastle at the weekend was the Black Cats’ sixth-straight victory over their north-east rivals, and one which has lifted the Wearside club to within one win of escaping the drop zone.

Before Coloccini’s dismissal – moments before half-time – Newcastle had undoubtedly had the better of the action, but Sunderland made the numerical advantage count and that in itself is something which may not have happened earlier in the season.

Allardyce himself wrote in his programme notes for his first home game in charge “Of course we want to win even when we don’t deserve to” and he proved to be more psychic than Mystic Meg.

Big Sam was only denied a point in his debut in the Sunderland dug out by a controversial goal from Saido Berahino for West Brom at the Hawthorns, but the former Bolton boss looks to have already turned a corner with his side displaying a new level of resilience, organisation and composure.

The Black Cats are 1/3 to be relegated this season – echoing Allardyce’s comments after the game that his players still need to improve – but the price is significantly more favourable than the 1/8 they were priced at last week.

Sunderland head to a wounded Everton this Sunday, and with the Toffees winning just one of their five home games this term, Big Sam is no doubt eyeing the trip to Goodison with the aim of at least a point in Merseyside.

Everton have endured a tricky little run of late, picking up just one point from the last nine available after defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal in addition to a 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby with Liverpool to slip into the bottom half of the table.

Further boosting the Sunderland cause is the notion that their last away win was at Everton back in May, and we all know how these things have a funny way of working out.

The north-east side are 11/2 to claim a first away victory of the season, and a draw is 15/4.

Allardyce’s discipline and organisation is already showing through, and with Everton – 1/2 to win on Sunday – struggling to piece together some form, the Black Cats could offer some big value this weekend.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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