Mark O’Haire’s Premier League Tips – Sunderland v Everton
Sunderland know a victory against Everton on Wednesday night will secure Premier League safety for another season – an outstanding achievement from Sam Allardyce considering the Black Cats’ position when he assumed control.
Sunderland v Everton, Wednesday 11 May 19.45, Sky Sports 1
Further motivation can be found in the fact the Wearsiders will relegate bitter rivals Newcastle with three points here and having suffered just four defeats in 17, there’s plenty of punters faith being put in a home success with the hosts backed into 3/4 quotes.
The Black Cats’ only losses in their last 20 outings have all come against clubs currently in the top-nine but draws have been commonplace in Sunderland fixtures with six in their most recent nine league matches (W2-D6-L1).
However, Saturday’s fantastic come-from-behind 3-2 triumph over Chelsea has lifted spirits and there’s now a confidence around the Stadium of Light that the Wearsiders will complete yet another survival mission sooner rather than later.
Jermain Defoe’s deadly form in front of goal has certainly aided the home hopes. The diminutive forward has struck 18 goals this season to attract England Euro 2016 attention and if Sunderland are to deliver the goods on Wednesday night, you’d expect Defoe to play a leading role – he’s 20/21 to score again.
If the mood around the home camp is buoyant, it’s anything but at Goodison Park. Roberto Martinez looks like a dead man walking and even two victories from Everton’s last two matches may not save his job this summer.
The Toffees underachieving season has seen them slide to five defeats in their last nine matches, winning just once and also being knocked out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage.
And in the Merseysiders’ last three games they’ve leaked eight goals.
However, Seamus Coleman and Gareth Barry are expected to return from injuries here and Ramiro Funes Mori has completed a ban to bolster the away side’s defensive prospects.
Away form has been Everton’s saviour for the most part of the campaign but that’s dropped off in recent weeks as the Toffees have scored just twice in five games as guests whilst picking up only two points. But Martinez’s men have fared reasonably well when visiting teams outside the top-eight (W4-D6-L0),
With three key components back in the fold, Everton could and probably should put up more resistance this midweek and Sunderland’s high draw bias makes their short price a little off-putting. Therefore, taking the draw at 14/5 looks like the best avenue of attack.
Meanwhile, Under 2.5 Goals looks a value option at 11/10 as only four of Sunderland’s last 13 Stadium of Light encounters have witnessed at least three goals with 10 of the most recent 13 meetings between the two teams seeing the Unders bank.
Draw @ 14/5
Under 2.5 Goals @ 11/10
*Prices correct at time of publication.