It is the annual rite of Boxing Day football in England, and for Everton it means another chance for 3 points. Christmas Day came and went with 5 teams separated by 2 points at the top of the table, and it has to count as a surprise that Everton is one of those teams. Everton's problem this season has not been beating the big teams, but winning against the small teams.
Sunderland has showed some promise in recent weeks, but Everton should still win this one. For the Americans in the audience, Jozy Altidore will be one to keep an eye on. He has had a frustrating time since moving to Sunderland over the summer, and every US fan will be interested in at least seeing him active today. That said goals are only ok if we are up 3-0 or so.
Everton vs. Sunderland: Match Preview
•Royal Blue MerseyWe preview Everton's Boxing Day clash against the Black Cats as they look to keep pace with the other title contenders
Of course for Everton the big questions is what Martinez will do with Leighton Baines. The leftback is supposedly available, but Bryan Oviedo has done well in his absence. It might be academic if Steven Pienaar is still injured. Remember that he limped off in the second half over the weekend. One way or another I imagine the left side will be a focus
We will post team lineups below when the become available. Join us to watch what should be another exciting match in a busy Christmas period.