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Match preview: Everton U21 vs Sunderland U21

The young Blues look to down the Black Cats in the Premier League International Cup on Thursday evening.

Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Everton and Sunderland’s under-21 sides will be battling it out on Thursday evening for a place in the quarter final of the Premier League International Cup.

The winner of the game will move into second place in Group D, and will join leaders Celtic in the next round of the competition.

Though if the scoreline ends up all square, Villarreal – who are currently second – would advance.

And whoever goes through will also join Chelsea, Athletic Bilbao, Fulham, Leicester City, Manchester City and either Norwich City or Porto in the final eight.

The competition gives the young Blues an opportunity to recover from Monday afternoon’s defeat, in which they spurned another opportunity to top the Barclays U21 Premier League thanks to four Tottenham first half goals.

The game was put beyond the reach of the visitors shortly after the half hour mark, despite the return of John Lundstram to the side after returning from his loan spell at Leyton Orient.

As it stands Sunderland sit bottom after managing only a single point in their first two games of the competition.

Everton, whose most recent game was a 2-1 home loss to Villarreal’s youth team at Goodison Park, join their opponents on one point, but are third thanks to a superior goal difference.

The game was originally scheduled for the beginning of February, but it was initially postponed due to Sunderland’s Youth Cup commitments that same week.

The group stage game was also initially meant to take place at Goodison Park, but tomorrow’s fixture will now be a 19:00pm kick-off at Southport’s Merseyrail Community Stadium.

We’ll be bringing you live coverage of the game via our official Twitter account (@RBMersey), and there will be a match report on the website following the game.