In the top four on Boxing Day, it’s safe to say the post David Moyes era has gone swimmingly well at Goodison Park so far this season.
New manager Roberto Martinez has added verve and panache to the Toffees play, and a real chance to qualify for the Champions League is presenting itself to Everton this season.
As for Sunderland, they’re still rooted to the bottom of the table and a trip to Goodison (where Everton haven’t lost a single league game in 2013) isn’t exactly what they were hoping for after no win in six league games.
As for team news Roberto Martinez keeps his extremely settled lineup intact, as the Toffees good form has seen the team pick itself for most of the season. While Sunderland start with Fabio Borini supporting Steven Fletcher, as USMNT international Jozy Altidore is on the bench and Diakite replaces the suspended Wes Brown.
Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo, Coleman, Mirallas, McCarthy, Barry, Osman, Pienaar, Lukaku
Subs: Robles, Heitinga, Jelavic, Naismith, Barkley, Stones, Alcaraz
Sunderland: Mannone, Celustka, Bardsley, Diakite, Roberge, Cattermole, Ki, Colback, Larsson, Borini, Fletcher
Subs: Dossena, Cabral, Johnson, Altidore, Ba, Giaccherini, Pickford