Football journalist working in Liverpool covering both Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League/Europa League.
It's hard to see there being many goals in this one
Romelu Lukaku scoring against his former clubs is a given
Backing Manchester United to keep a clean sheet would be smart
With hopes of challenging the top six and enjoying a run in the Europa League this season, it is likely the Carabao Cup will be one Everton overlook again this season.
The Blues have never done well in this competition, having exited it in the third round in four of the last five seasons, with the semi-final appearance in 2016 the anomaly.
Indeed, the Blues have never won the League Cup since it was brought into being in the 1955/56 season, which seems shocking for a side so steeped in history as Everton.
They will be confident of at least progressing to the fourth round this year though, with their opponents, Sunderland, unlikely to offer up a stern test.
The Black Cats rough fall from grace has continued since their relegation last season and they are yet to get going in the Championship this year.
Eight games in they have managed just one win, losing four and drawing the other three and sit just two points outside of the relegation zone early on in the campaign. It looks like being a tough year for Simon Grayson and his men, to say the least.
The mood around the club is at an all-time low and just like Everton, it is easy to imagine that their focus will be elsewhere. In fact, an early exit would suit them ideally in the long-term.
|Sunderland||0 - 3||Everton|
|Sunderland||3 - 0||Everton|
|Everton||6 - 2||Sunderland|
|Everton||0 - 2||Sunderland|
L L L L D
D L L L W
Everton currently have five first team players out injured but all are long-term injuries, with Ross Barkley, Yannick Bolasie, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori all out for several months apiece.
Ronald Koeman is likely to rotate his team heavily for this game, giving a chance to some of his fringe players to make an impression.
Maarten Stekelenburg will likely start in goal, with Leighton Baines and Michael Keane keeping their places in defence and the other two slots being changed up.
In midfield, Tom Davies should be handed a start if Morgan Schneiderlin drops out. Expect Muhamed Besic and Idrissa Gana Gueye to partner him.
Nicola Vlasic has impressed so expect him to start, as well as Kevin Mirallas, who is still out of favour after his deadline day falling out with the manager. A lack of options up front should see Dominic Calvert-Lewin continue.
Pickford, Williams, Kenny, Klaassen, Rooney, Sigurdsson; Sandro.
Sunderland currently only have Paddy McNair on the injury list, with the defender not expected back until November.
Steele, Browning, Jones, Gibson, Rodwell, Gooch; Love.
Everton have won three of the last five meetings between these two teams at Goodison Park.
Everton's last two meetings with Sunderland at home has seen them scoring eight goals in total, although six of them did come in the 6-2 win in November 2015. The Blues have managed to score at least two goals in three of their last five home games against the Black Cats.
Indeed, Sunderland are one of Everton's favourite teams to play at Goodison Park, having enjoyed 17 wins in 25 against them in the stadium in all competitions.
This is the first time these two sides have ever met in the League Cup. They've met in the FA Cup three times before, with Everton winning two of them and drawing the other.
Sunderland have managed to score just six goals in the Championship so far this season, the joint fourth lowest amount in the division so far.
The Black Cats have however been strong on the road this season, winning three of their five journeys away from the Stadium of Light. That includes trips to Carlisle United and Bury in this competition.
Sunderland have scored more than two goals in just two of their nine competitive games this season and have failed to score in three of their seven Championship games.
Gana Gueye . In the rotated line up, Gana Gueye is likely to be the experienced man played in midfield. The central midfielder provides Everton with a driving force in the middle of the park, while his defensive capabilities are often key also.
Johnny Williams gives Sunderland a creative edge in that number 10 role and will be vital if they are to get anything from their trip to Goodison Park.
Everton may be short on goals and lacking on confidence but few would predict them losing this one. Sunderland are a poor side and the Blues should have enough, even in a rotated team, to overcome them and progress.
Everton to win 2-0 is 13/2 @ Bet Victor
Everton: 7/20 (Marathon Bet)
Draw: 5/1 (BetFred)
Sunderland: 11/1 (bet365)
Everton may have been conceding goals at will in their last few games but it is hard to see Sunderland benefitting from that. They shouldn't have the firepower to trouble the Blues. BetBright will give you 19/20 for Everton to keep a clean sheet.
It's extremely difficult to see there being many goals in this one, especially if Ronald Koeman rotates his squad as expected. BetFred will give you 13/8 for under 2.5 goals in total.
Everton should at least get on the score sheet, though, and Boylesports will give you 2/5 for them to score 1.5 goals.
Everton should have enough to see off Sunderland and progress to the 4th round it seems unlikely there will be a lot of goals in this game. Neither side are big goalscorers at the minute.
Everton to win & under 2.5 goals is 31/10 @ 188BET
Dec 3rd, 2017, 0 comments
Nov 1st, 2017, 2 comments