Everton welcome Sunderland to Goodison Park on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) with the Toffees protecting an eight-game unbeaten run at home.
As for Sunderland, their situation is dire as the Black Cats remain in the bottom three with four games left. Their final two games of the season are away to Arsenal and Chelsea, so Sunderland’s boss Dick Advocaat knows they must get something from their trip to Merseyside if they want to boost their survival hopes.
Two games without a defeat, including last weeks win over Southampton, have lifted the Mackems but they must record a win at Everton to pile the pressure on the other clubs battling against relegation.
In team news Everton bring in Leon Osman and Ross Barkley for Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas. Sunderland bring in Wes Brown to replace injured captain John O’Shea and continue to play in a more attacking 4-3-3 formation.
Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barry, Lennon, Barkley, Osman, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Garbutt, Besic, Naismith, McGeady, Mirallas, Kone
Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, van Aanholt, Brown, Coates, Cattermole, Gomez, Larsson, Defoe, Wickham, Graham. Subs: Bridcutt, Fletcher, Johnson, Reveillere, Vergini, Buckley, Mannone