Premier League Preview: Everton vs. Sunderland

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  • Everton holds all-time lead 78W-31D-68L
  • Sides drew 1-1 in November at Sunderland
  • Black Cats won at Goodison last season

Sunderland will hope history — and desperation — stays in its corner during Saturday’s early morning visit to Goodison Park to face Everton (Watch live at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

The Black Cats are on the edge of the Premier League’s drop zone, but have beaten Everton in each of the previous two seasons. They’ve been struggling mightily this season, but new manager Dick Advocaat has led the club to results in three of its last four, including a 1-0 win over Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear Derby.

Everton, for its part, saw a run of four wins in five end with last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Aston Villa. Now, it’s another club with dire needs at the other end of the pitch.

What they’re saying

Everton’s Seamus Coleman on the threat of Jermain Defoe: “Any team that has Jermain Defoe in it are going to be dangerous. He is a goalscorer. He is always a player you have to watch for the full 90 minutes. You know as a defender that if you give him half a yard, he will want to have a go on goal and the majority of the time it will end up in the back of the net.”

Sunderland’s Sebastian Coates on building off the Southampton win: “We have always believed, but maybe we have even more confidence now. But we have always knew we have to win points in the next four games… And I think because of that the team is more confident now, but we need to show that confidence in the last four games.”

Prediction

There’s no substitute for desperation, but Everton is a far better side than the Black Cats. Captain John O’Shea is traveling for Sunderland, but will not play. That could be the difference in what we’re calling a 2-1 win for Everton.