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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Sunderland v Everton: Can Di Canio squash the Toffees?


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Isn't it amazing what a convincing 3-0 win over your bitter rivals can do for your reputation. Paolo Di Canio arrived at the Stadium of Light under a cloud due to his reported links with facism and the Lazio Ultras. A fortnight on and a memorable performance at St James' Park later and Di Canio is a Sunderland hero.

The former Celtic and West Ham star revelled in their derby success but has told the fans to refrain from calling him a hero until he actually delivers silverware to the Stadium of Light. Well, after being the first Sunderland manager to win at Newcastle for 13 years, if he can lead his Black Cats to victory today over Everton he will be the first Sunderland chief to do so since 2001.

Everton have dominated the Black Cats over the past decade. At the turn of the Millennium, Sunderland recorded three wins out of four meetings against the Toffees. But since Claudio Reyna dispatched the only goal of the game in a Sunderland win in December 2001, Everton have been top dogs. They have won 14 of their previous 19 league and FA Cup meetings.

The Toffees are unbeaten in six and have taken points off Arsenal and Spurs and defeated champions Manchester City at home. They are just four points off a place in the top four and will fancy their chances of beating their old foes. 

However, the Di Canio factor may have a real effect on today's game. Sunderland looked like a different team last weekend against Newcastle. They had belief, passion and confidence to take people on. Adam Johnson for once finally showed the fans what he can produce in a Sunderland shirt and Sessegnon was back to his formidable best.

A few weeks ago this looked like an Everton win all day long, but now there are some doubts in my mind. The Stadium of Light will be rocking and Everton will have to give everything they've got in order to leave Wearside with their Champions League hopes in tact. 

But who will be toasting all three points come the final whistle?

Sunderland v Everton; Kick Off 3pm April 20 2013

Prediction Panel

Arsenal

Josh Ben Moshe

0

V

1

Aston Villa

Frank Pattison

1

V

1

Chelsea

Apoorva Ankur

2

V

0

Everton

Chris Goodwin

1

V

2

Fulham

Neil Springate

1

V

1

Liverpool

Dave Disciascio

1

V

2

Man City

Callum Rothwell

2

V

2

Man United

Peter Johnstone

2

V

2

Newcastle

Greg Hall

0

V

2

Norwich

Sue Read

1

V

2

QPR

John Jaycock

1

V

2

Reading

Jon Keen

1

V

2

Southampton

Andy Saunders

2

V

1

Stoke City

Peter Holland

3

V

1

Sunderland

Tony Ratton

2

V

2

Swansea

Jim Barry

3

V

0

Spurs

Adam Crawford

2

V

1

West Brom

Andy Wakeman

1

V

0

West Ham

Matt Beeby

1

V

1

Wigan

Jimmy Shine

0

V

1

 

 

 

 

 

OUR EXPERTS

 

 

 

 

Writer

Colin Illingworth

2

V

1

Writer

Steve Coulter

1

V

1

Writer

Hugh Larkin

1

V

2

Writer

Mitch Waddon

1

V

1

Writer

Chris Pettitt

1

V

1

Writer

Sarshar Hosseinnia    

TBA    

V    

TBA

Blackburn fan

Terry Kennedy

TBA

V

TBA

Bolton fan

David Blackburn

2

V

2

Boro fan

Sue Gardener

2

V

1

Pompey fan

Dan Taylor

1

V

1

Pompey fan

Peter Rendle

2

V

2

West Ham fan

Nigel Telfer

2

V

1

Wolves fan

Chris Cox

1

V

3

Editor

Antony Melvin

1

V

2

Panel Verdict

Draw.

Home: 9; Draw: 12; Away: 11. TBA 2.

* Do we have it right or do you know better? We’d love to hear from you.

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