Everton at Sunderland: Live Gamethread

Clive Brunskill

Everton head to the north-east knowing they will rise into fourth place should they avoid defeat.

After the euphoria of Goodison last Sunday and the controversy of Martin Samuel in the week, we return back to business this afternoon with a meeting with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The form book and respective league positions suggests Everton should win, but everyone said that when the two sides met at Goodison Park on Boxing Day. Back then the Black Cats put in a defiant defensive display to come away with a surprise 1-0 victory.

With Arsenal playing in the FA Cup this is effectively Everton's game in hand, meaning they can leapfrog the Gunners into fourth place with either a draw or a victory.

We will bring you the teams on here as soon as we have them but in the meantime do check out our match preview and a warning that we should not take this game too lightly.

Then feel free to comment away during the game - and enjoy the fact that we have something to play for at this stage of the season.

Also don't forget that this game will kick off seven minutes later than usual in order to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, a chance for all of us to take a bit of time out to remember those who went to a game but never came back.

Everton starting XI - Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu, Naismith, Osman; Lukaku.

Everton subs - Joel, Hibbert, McGeady, Mirallas, Barkley, Garbutt, Alcaraz

Sunderland starting XI - Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, O'Shea (c), Brown, Cattermole, Ki, Colback, Johnson, Wickham, Borini.

Sunderland subs - Larsson, Gardner, Cuellar, Vergini, Giaccherini, Scocco, Ustari.

COYB!

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