Everton v Sunderland - FA Cup Sixth Round

Watch Live: Sunderland vs. Everton (Lineups and Discuss)

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Both Sunderland and Everton will be desperate for a win at the Stadium of Light today – but both have very different reasons for wanting to secure all three points (Watch live at 10:07 a.m. ET online via Live Extra).

The visitors are currently fifth, one point behind Arsenal but with a vital game in hand. A win today puts Everton in fourth, in a position to qualify for the Champions League. The last time the Toffees accomplished such a feat was in 2005, when they lost out in the qualifiers to Villarreal.

It should be an easy task for Everton against Sunderland. The Premier League’s bottom side likely needs a miracle to reach safety. The Black Cats haven’t won since February 15, when they beat Southampton 1-0, and have since picked up just a point from their last eight matches. After last weekend’s 5-1 blowout at Tottenham, it looks increasingly likely that Sunderland will be the latest side to reach a Cup final only to be relegated in the same season.


Gus Poyet makes a few changes to the team that lost to Spurs last time out. The Sunderland boss is making attempts to tighten up at the back, leaving out Santiago Vergini and Carlos Cuéllar. John O’Shea returns to the starting XI, as do Jack Colback and Conor Wickham. Liam Bridcutt also misses out.

It’s just one change for Roberto Martínez, who starts Gerard Deulofeu in place of Kevin Mirallas, who is on the bench for Everton. Leon Osman, subbed out early against Arsenal last week, starts once more, with Ross Barkley back on the bench. Tim Howard is in goal, of course, and Romelu Lukaku starts up top.


Sunderland: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, O’Shea, Brown, Cattermole, Ki, Colback, Johnson, Wickham, Borini

Subs: Larsson, Gardner, Cuellar, Vergini, Giaccherini, Scocco, Ustari

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Distin, McCarthy, Barry, Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman, Lukaku

Subs: Joel, Hibbert, McGeady, Mirallas, Barkley, Garbutt, Alcaraz

In “pretty good listener” Klopp, Liverpool has breath of fresh air

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.

But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.

[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]

In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.

For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.

From JPW on Merseyside:

“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”

The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.

And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.

Kreis, Schmid dismiss Messing’s job switch comments

Sigi Schmid
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Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.

If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.

Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.

Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.

From MLSSoccer.com:

“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”

So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.

As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.