Six months ago, Sunderland travelled to Goodison Park and fell into disarray, losing 6-2 in Sam Allardyce’s third game in charge. Tonight though, the Black Cats can exact revenge and secure Premier League survival for another year.
That hammering on November 1st handed Allardyce all the evidence he needed of the task at hand, and the former Bolton manager has guided the club to the verge of safety.
Since then, Sunderland have actually picked up a point more than Roberto Martinez’s men, and a huge victory over Chelsea at the weekend means the Wearsiders will send Norwich and rivals Newcastle down if they claim three points at the Stadium of Light.
They’ll be keen to get at an Everton side whose season, once so full of potential, is quickly heading towards a bottom-half finish few would say reflects the quality of Martinez’s squad.
The teams really are in contrasting form, with Sunderland losing just one of their last nine, while Everton have won just once in the same period.
Only Stoke City and each of the bottom five sides have conceded more than the Toffees’ 52 goals this term, leading few doubting where the Blues’ weaknesses lie.
With the visitors boasting just one clean sheet since Valentine’s Day, Allardyce will be fancying his side to have a few chances tonight, with Everton facing a staggering 68 shots in their last two away games.
A key man for the Black Cats has undoubtedly been Jermain Defoe, and the 33-year-old’s form has even rekindled talk of an England return for the summer’s European Championships.
The former West Ham striker has scored 15 league goals this term, and netted that day at Goodison.
Defoe has scored a further 12 times since that strike, and Sunderland haven’t lost on any of those occasions.
With that in mind, we’re feeling generous by boosting Defoe to score and Sunderland to win from 6/4 to 2/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.