Sunderland have rightly been basking in the sunshine of their derby victory over Newcastle this week, but a trip to Goodison Park could well bring the Black Cats back down to earth with a bump.
The Wearsiders have made for terrible travellers this season, picking up a solitary point in five away matches, where they’ve conceded 12 times and scored only four.
Everton are scratching around a little for Premier League form themselves, but after being humbled by Manchester United at home, they were far better in a narrow defeat to Arsenal where they matched the Gunners for shots on target.
Having squeezed past Norwich to book a Capital One Cup quarter-final spot in midweek, confidence should have returned to Martinez’s troops, who will be fully intent on moving up the table towards the European places after a tough run of fixtures.
A quick look at the recent history of this fixture would suggest otherwise, but just as their 3-0 victory over arch rivals Newcastle was flattering, so to a certain extent have Sunderland’s recent results been at Goodison Park.
The first of two successive wins had real parallels with events at the Stadium of Light where Fabricio Coloccini’s sending off and resultant penalty unquestionably turned the game in Sunderland’ favour.
Up until that controversial moment, Newcastle had undoubtedly been the better team, highlighting the enormous task Sam Allardyce has on his hands to turn things around and avoid another relegation dog fight.
Two seasons ago it was Everton keeper Tim Howard receiving his marching orders in the first half, giving away a match-deciding penalty dispatched by Ki Sung-Yueng.
Last term’s 2-0 win was more authentic, although coming right at the end of the season there was far more riding on the match for Dick Advocaat’s men desperately trying to stave off relegation, than Roberto Martinez’s Toffees stranded in mid table.
Back to the present and alongside record signing Romelu Lukaku, who has five Premier goals to his name in 2015/16, Ross Barkley has been a star performer for the Merseyside club – notching three from midfield.
On the scoresheet against Arsenal, albeit via a deflection, Barkley looks fine value at 11/2 to break the deadlock, while Ladbrokes are also boosting Lukaku to score and Everton to win from 11/8, to 15/8 from 8.00 am Sunday.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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