The fourth round of the 2016/17 English Premier League season wraps up this Monday, September 12th up in the northeast where Sunderland will host Liverpool-based Everton at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland just kept above the relegation zone last year and will be hard-pressed to do the same again this season while Everton is aiming for a top-10 finish or possibly higher.
Sunderland vs Everton – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Everton as the favorite to win the game at +106 with Sunderland +292 and a draw at +258
Sunderland vs Everton – Head to Head:
These two teams last met back in May with Sunderland winning 3-0 while fighting for survival. However, Everton thumped them 6-2 at Goodison Park six months earlier in league action. The clubs have met 181 times in the past with Everton winning 80, losing 71 and drawing the other 30. Sunderland has won four of the past seven, but those are their only wins in the past 26 meetings.
Sunderland – A Closer Look:
The Black Cats earned their first point of the season with a 1-1 draw on the south coast with Southampton two weeks ago and enter the weekend in 16th place. English striker Jermain Defoe put Sunderland in front in the 80th minute, but Southampton rescued a point when Jay Rodriguez tied the game just five minutes later. They’ve also lost a pair of 2-1 games away to Manchester City and at home to newly-promoted Middlesbrough. Goalkeeper Vito Mannone is expected to miss about three months of the season after breaking his arm in training. Midfielder Lee Cattermole is out indefinitely, midfielder Sebastian Larsson is out for a few months and forward Fabio Borini is expected back in December.
Sunderland lost manager Sam Allardyce to the English national team during the summer and he’s been replaced by former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes of Scotland. Sunderland finished 17th in the league last season, just two points ahead of the relegation zone. They had nine wins, 12 draws and 17 losses with 48 goals scored and 62 allowed. They acquired Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea during the current transfer window along with Paddy McNair, Donald Love and Adnan Januzaj from Manchester United. Several players also left the club. These included Danny Graham, Steven Fletcher, Wes Brown, Mikael Mandron, Emanuele Giaccherini, Santiago Vergini, Adam Matthews, Will Buckley, Jordi Gomez, Younes Kaboul, Jermain Lens and Liam Birdcutt.
Everton – A Closer Look:
Everton remained unbeaten with two wins and a draw after their last outing two weeks ago when they downed Stoke City 1-0 at home. They took all three points thanks to a ridiculously-called own goal by Stoke goalkeeper Shay Given in the 51st minute. Given had saved Leighton Baines’ penalty and the ball then deflected into the net off of the keeper. Everton entered the weekend fourth in the table and second in total points with seven. The Merseyside club drew 1-1 at home with Tottenham Hotspur in their season opener and also won 2-1 away to West Bromwich Albion. Everton finished in 11th place last season with 47 points from 11 victories, 14 draws and 13 defeats. They scored 59 goals and allowed 55 against.
Dutchman Ronald Koeman, who was with Southampton last year, has taken over from Roberto Martinez as the team’s new manager. He’s been active in the transfer window as Bassala Sambou was acquired from Coventry City, Chris Renshaw came over from Oldham Athletic, goaltender Maarten Stekelenburg joined from Fulham, Idrissa Gana Gueye was signed from Aston Villa, Ashley Williams came over from Swansea City, Yannick Bolasie joined from Crystal Palace and Enner Valencia’s on loan from West Ham. Steven Pienaar, Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert were released while goaltender Tim Howard joined the Colorado Rapids and John Stones was sold to Manchester City. Aiden McGeady and Luke Garbutt are also out on loan. Midfielder James McCarthy and defenders Muhamed Besic and Tyias Browning are all out with injuries.
Sunderland vs Everton – Takeaway:
Everton will try to extend their undefeated streak to four games at the start of the season to climb the table while Sunderland will be looking for their first win.
by Ian S. Palmer