Martin O' Neill has already started to produce the goods at Sunderland since his arrival, two wins from three games has seen Sunderland begin to move up the table but both wins came against out of form teams (Blackburn and QPR) and both came courtesy of late goals so there is still plenty of improvement for Martin O'Neill to find in his team. Traditionally this is the time of year that Everton improve after a slow start and they will have been boosted after a 1-0 win against Swansea in their last match but they are still struggling for goals and David Moyes will be on the look out for a striker in the January transfer window.
Connor Wickham is on the road to recovery following a knee problem but the game against Everton is likely to come too soon for the young striker. There have also been improvements in the condition of long term injury victims Fraizer Campbell and Craig Gordon but neither look ready for a return to first team action yet after such long term layoffs.
Seamus Coleman is likely to miss the next two weeks of action due to a recurrence of an existing thigh problem and he could be joined on the sidelines by Jack Rodwell and Conor McAleny, both players are rated slight doubts for this match as they struggle to shake off hamstring injuries. Tim Cahill is likely to start again and this is his last chance to register a goal in 2011 having not yet scored this year for his club.
Neither of these teams have been scoring too many goals this season, Everton in particular have struggled for goals with only Wigan and Swansea scoring fewer goals this season. Everton's last five games have had under 2.5 goals and normally they score a maximum of two goals , according to the Everton ValueChecker Wikis Everton scored exactly one goal in twelve games and two goals in fourteen games last season. Meanwhile the Sunderland ValueChecker Wikis show that last season ten of Sunderland's matches were not only under 2.5 goals but under 1.5 goals. This game looks destined to have under 2.5 goals.
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