Sunderland v Everton: Di Canio’s bubble to burst
After months of misery, Sunderland fans have a renewed optimism about their fight for survival after a thrilling 3-0 win over bitter rivals Newcastle.
New Black Cats boss Paolo Di Canio has breathed new life into the Premier League strugglers and, while it is still early days in his tenure, looks to have Adam Johnson and Stéphane Sessègnon firing on all cylinders.
Sunderland are still priced as the 11/5 outsiders for this game, despite their wave of momentum, while Everton go into the tie as 5/4 favourites.
Given that the visitors are unbeaten in some 18 meetings with Sunderland – the Black Cats last winning in 2001 – punters could be tempted to look into the variety of other markets offered on this game.
Toffees top scorer Marouane Fellaini has 11 goals to his name so far this term but still offers a generous 7/1 to open the scoring at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland, meanwhile, will look to goal-shy Danny Graham to finally break his duck and the former Swansea man is also priced at 7-1 to break the deadlock.
Better value, however, could come from the trio of players who netted screamers against Newcastle, with Sessègnon, Johnson and David Vaughan offering first goal scorer odds of 9/1, 12/1 and 25/1 respectively.
The win against Newcastle was Sunderland’s first in 10 games, but the Wearsiders have been more impressive during the first 45 minutes of their games, losing just one of their last five first halves.
David Moyes’ men have been even more impressive in that time, going unbeaten before the break in five consecutive games, winning three of those.
Notably, in all 10 of those first-half performances no more than two goals have been scored, with six 1-0 scorelines, three 1-1 draws and one goalless half.
Those anticipating another low-scoring affair could be tempted by the 15/8 odds on no goals being scored in the first period, the 29/20 price on exactly one converted chance or the 31/10 which says the fans will see exactly two strikes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.