David Moyes makes the one change to the side that overcame Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for todays Premiership encounter with Sunderland at Goodison Park.
Saha returns to the starting eleven, joining Beckford in attack as Everton look to make an ascend up the Premier League Table
Everton XI to face Sunderland: Howard, Neville, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Coleman, Arteta, Osman, Fellaini, Beckford, Saha.
Everton have an impressive record against the Black Cats. David Moyes’ Everton are unbeaten in twelve encounters against Today’s opposition, winning nine and drawing three.
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Everton v Sunderland
Its been a strange season so far for Everton. Chelsea seem incapable of beating them, theyre now looking a very decent bet to win the FA Cup at 15/2, the overall standard of their play and the effort theyve put in should at least see them safely in the top half of the table and yet they sit just three points above the relegation zone. Granted there have been some issues in the striking department but even so, its still difficult to believe that theyll be battling to avoid the drop come the end of the season. David Moyes will gladly swap some good performances for some good results to ensure that, beginning with the visit of Sunderland.
Although not one of their best showings, Everton could have snatched all three points in the reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light and after knocking Chelsea out if the FA Cup, David Moyes will be looking to get a little momentum going by following it up with a win. With Sunderland coming in to this game having won just once in their last six, losing their last three away games on the bounce, the 3/4 on the Blues is a decent price. Especially if Tim Cahill and Louis Saha recover in time to play. The pair are joint favourites to open the scoring at 9/2 and if they start they should be backed to get on the scoresheet. In not then Jermaine Beckford can atone for his late miss in the first meeting by scoring first at 5/1 while Marouane Fellainis form makes him worth a punt at 11/4 to score anytime. Sunderlands failure to deal with set-pieces of late make centre-halfs Jagielka at 9/1 and Distin at 12/1 to score anytime worthy of consideration.
The goal totals in recent games for both sides makes the over 2.5 goals at evens very appealing and if Everton can build on their cup success then a scoreline of 3-1 at 13/1 is a realistic outcome. If Louis Saha does start then the wincast of Saha to score and Everton to win is nicely priced at11/4.
Too good or not the table rarely lies but a win over Sunderland will give Everton all three points and give a slightly more honest reflection of how theyve performed so far this season.