Sunderland will be welcoming a confident Everton outfit to the Stadium of Light as they still strive to clock up 3 points in a match this season. Though David Moyes will have the backing of the owners, the longer Sunderland go without a win the more jittery the home crowd will be getting. David Moyes has understandably struggled since the beginning of the season having been installed at such short notice after Sam Allardyce’s decision to join the England national team.
Ronald Koeman will be eager to continue his good start to the season after he made the controversial switch from Southampton. And he has been aided with a comfortable looking start to the season and has games coming up which he will have earmarked as winnable. Though they are sitting in the 7th place, a win today will propel the Toffees to the 2nd spot joint with Chelsea. An incentive, if they needed one.
John Pickford is expected to recover after picking up a niggle during the England U-21 duties. Jan Kirchhoff is poised to return having had a run-out for the reserves earlier this week following a hamstring injury, though Monday’s match might come too early for him. Fabio Borini is expected to be out for around 3 months while new signing Victor Anichebe is still lacking match fitness and will miss out. Vito Mannone (arm) and Sebastian Larsson (knee) are long-term absentees, while Billy Jones (hip) and Lee Cattermole (knock) are doubts.
Seamus Coleman is fit to start after recovering well over the International break. But James McCarthy will be sidelined for 3 weeks after undergoing a groin injury. Matthew Pennington and Tom Cleverley remain doubtful, while Darron Gibson is ruled out. Muhamed Besic is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.
Pickford- Manquillo, Djilobodji, Kone, Van Aanholt- Rodwell, Kirchhoff- Januzaj, Watmore, Gooch- Defoe
Stekelenburg- Coleman, Williams, Jagielka, Baines- Gueye, Barry- Bolasie, Barkley, Mirallas- Lukaku
JERMAINE DEFOE- The usual suspect for Sunderland. The Premier League veteran will again be tasked with providing the breakthrough for the Black Cats. Still their only fit forward, he has to guide the likes of Januzaj and Watmore on the pitch and form a viable partnership with them. His clinical nature has to be present today for Sunderland to challenge Everton for any points.
ROMELU LUKAKU- The big Belgian will want to have a consistent season more than anything else. He has all the attributes to trouble the best of defences but his recurring habit of flitting in and out of games has been his biggest Achilles heel till now. If he clicks he is capable of forcing the Sunderland defence into submission single-handedly.
Everton have found Sunderland notoriously difficult to beat especially at the latter’s home. Even though Everton look stronger on paper, a tight affair can be expected provided that Sunderland finally click as a unit.