Paolo Di Canio

Preview: SAFC v Everton

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

A look ahead to Di Canio's first game at the SoL.

Paolo Di Canio will take charge of his first Sunderland home game as the Black Cats host Everton on Saturday.

The hosts go into the game on the back of last weekend’s memorable 3-0 victory over local rivals Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, against an Everton side who have a strong record at the Stadium of Light.

The Toffees are unbeaten in eight games at the SoL with the Black Cats last victory over Everton coming in 2001 when Claudio Reyna scored a 77th minute winner for Peter Reid’s side.

The last time Sunderland won at Newcastle, back in 2000, it was followed by a win in their next home league game, which was against Everton.

And, though, Everton will consider it a bad time to travel to Wearside with a new-found confidence instilled into the Black Cats, they’ll take heart from their own form which has seen them go unbeaten in five games, conceding only twice.

The Toffees have been prolific in this fixture over the years and they haven’t failed to score in the last 19 clashes between the two sides.

They’re not short of options on the attacking front, neither, with Marouane Fellaini scoring 11 league goals this season whilst being backed up by Nikica Jelavic (7), Victor Anichebe (6) and Leighton Baines, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar who all have five.

Sunderland are missing their top marksman, Steven Fletcher, for the rest of the season whilst Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown are also long-term absentees.

A win for Everton would lift them into fifth place with Tottenham Hostpur not playing until Sunday whilst the Black Cats could move as high as 13th with a victory.

Everton will assess the fitness of multiple players after their midweek game with Arsenal. Leon Osman didn’t start the game due to injury whilst Tony Hibbert played for the under-21’s in midweek in his recovery from injury.

Saturday’s clash will be the 174th between the two sides; Everton have won 77, Sunderland 66 whilst there has also been 30 draws.

MATCH STATS

In the last three Premier League meetings between these two sides, both of Sunderland’s goals have come in the first half and all seven of Everton’s have been scored after half-time.

The Black Cats’ derby win over Newcastle last weekend ended a run of nine Premier League games without a win (L6 D3).

Everton have kept a clean sheet in four of their last five Premier League games, conceding only two goals in the other match during this run.

The Toffees have won just three points from a possible 15 in their last five Premier League away games (D3 L2). During this run, they’ve netted only three goals.

Tim Howard kept his 100th Premier League clean sheet in Everton’s 0-0 midweek draw at Arsenal, becoming the 12th goalkeeper to reach this landmark in the competition.

The Black Cats have conceded the joint-fewest headed goals this season (four), while Everton have shipped the most (14).