Premier League Preview: Sunderland vs. Everton

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  • Sunderland have won 4 of last 7 meetings
  • Lukaku hasn’t scored or assisted in last 11 PL games
  • If Sunderland lose, that’s six-straight seasons without a win in opening 4 games

Sunderland welcome Everton the Stadium of Light on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports) as David Moyes comes up against his former club with the Black Cats still searching for their first win of the season.

In stark contrast new Everton boss Ronald Koeman is unbeaten in his first three games in charge with the Toffees taking seven points and impressing.

[ STREAM: Sunderland-Everton live ]

Talk of a relegation battle has already came from Moyes after his appointment during preseaosn after Sam Allardyce was hired as England’s new manager. The north east club tried hard to get reinforcements through the door before the transfer window shut but couldn’t add enough bodies and Moyes knows he has an uphill task to keep Sunderland in the Premier League. Koeman is aiming for the top six but paramount to that push is the form of Romelu Lukaku who is yet to score in the PL this season.

In team news Sunderland are without injured goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and new signings Mika Domingues, Didier Ndong and Jason Denayer could feature but other new boy Victor Anichebe won’t feature. Jan Kirchhoff and John O'Shea are also fit for Sunderland. Everton have Seamus Coleman fit and ready, while new signing Enner Valencia could also play but James McCarthy is out.

What they’re saying

Koeman on Moyes’ challenge at Sunderland: “With what he did at Everton, I think he had a great time. He showed he was a great manager for Everton in all the years he was in charge. Sunderland is a different club. The last few years they have been struggling – and there is what he said himself about relegation.”

Moyes on his 11-year spell at Everton: “We had a great team at Goodison but we were missing a center-forward. We couldn’t get the finances to buy one in my last couple of years. I might be exaggerating but I think, with a top center-forward, we would have been close to winning the league; we were that good.”

Prediction

With Sunderland struggling with injuries and not able to get as many new players in as they needed, Moyes is up against it. All of that doesn’t make it an ideal time to be playing an in-form Everton side and Koeman’s wealth of attacking options as his team looking solid at the back will add up to a comfortable away win. 2-0 to Everton.

Finlay goal gives Minnesota win over former club Columbus (video)

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It had to be him.

As Columbus continues to search for itself under new management, it’s no surprise that one of its old heroes broke its heart on Saturday.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Ethan Finlay, he of the 166 Crew appearances before being traded to Minnesota United, said earlier this week, “I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t want to beat up on them pretty bad.”

So of course Finlay scored a 70th minute tap-in to give his Loons a 1-0 win over Columbus on Saturday in St. Paul. It wasn’t “pretty bad,” but it probably felt pretty good.

The goal was Finlay’s first of the season for United, keeping the hosts unbeaten at home.

Columbus falls to 1-5 away from home under Caleb Porter, and has won just once in its last seven outings.

Brighton ready to pay release clause for Swans manager

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Brighton and Hove Albion is ready to bring one of England’s brightest managerial prospects into the Premier League.

The Seagulls are set to pay a $3 million release clause to lure Graham Potter away from Swansea City, one year after the manager left Swedish club Ostersunds FK.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

Potter was 35 when he was hired by the Swedish club in 2010, and helped Ostersunds to three promotions before moving to Wales in 2018.

Swans finished 10th this season, its first in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League.

Brighton regressed in a big way during the second half of this season, and remains in the top flight largely because Cardiff City was unable to take advantage of the Seagulls’ huge struggles.

The report says Swansea offered Potter a new deal to stay at the Liberty Stadium, but the manager wants to try the Premier League.

If he takes the job, Potter will manage against one of his former clubs; Potter played eight times for Southampton in the Premier League.

Pep: Domestic treble harder than winning Champions League

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Manchester City won its third tournament of the season on Saturday, battering Watford 6-0 at Wembley Stadium to add an FA Cup to its League Cup and Premier League titles.

[ RECAP: Man City 6-0 Watford ]

In doing so, City is the first club to win a domestic treble. Manager Pep Guardiola wants to win every competition he enters, but said winning all three is extra special.

“I love the Champions League but it is more difficult to do what we have done than to win the Champions League,” Guardiola said.

Wait, what?

From ManCity.com:

“It’s not easy being there every three days. We lacked a little bit of energy but it’s normal. It’s been so tough this week. We could not have had more energy but we kept it at the right time.”

Well, that makes sense. Whereas Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp risked less with his cup lineups, knowing his desire for the Premier League and Champions League, Guardiola’s lineups were aimed at winning everything.

And that’s largely why they’ve done it. City might’ve needed penalty kicks to beat Chelsea in the League Cup Final and a John Stones clearance to win the Premier League (or a Vincent Kompany thunderbolt), but the treble is impressive.

AC Milan boss Gattuso insists fifth “not a failure”

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For a solid four months, it appeared AC Milan was on track for a return to the Champions League for the first time in six years. Then, it all fell apart.

Still, manager Gennaro Gattuso is insisting their season is not a failure, adamant that a fifth-placed finish would not be considered a disappointment for the club. His reasoning will not be exactly endearing to fans.

“Fifth place absolutely wouldn’t be a failure, not because I want credit myself, plus what would Roma and Lazio say?” Gattuso said during his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Frosinone. “There’s regret because for two months we’ve had our fate in our hands and we dropped so many points, but it’s not a failure.”

Milan was as high as third place in the Serie A table in mid-March and seemed close to wrapping up a return to Champions League play, but a stretch of one win in seven league matches saw them tumble down into the crowded battle below, with Atalanta, Roma, Torino, and Lazio all in a pack. AC Milan now sits sixth, and while they still remain in the mix for the fourth position, they would need to make up a three-point deficit in just two matches. Fifth-placed Roma drew today, so they can jump to fifth with a win against Frosinone.

Milan was a European powerhouse for decades until the club declined following its 2007 Champions League victory, ultimately falling out of the running for Europe’s top competition, with just a few Europa League appearances since 2014. Gattuso’s comparison to Lazio and Roma, two strong Italian clubs without Milan’s history, is bound to infuriate fans, along with his acceptance of the club’s shortcomings.

The late-season collapse has called Gattuso’s job security into question, but he said that will wait until the end of the season. “Both the club and I have put aside our small talk to reach our objective,” Gattuso said during the presser. “There will be time to talk about the future.”

“There are two games left and we’re still playing for our objective.”