Preview: Everton v Sunderland

Everton will be hoping to take a step towards the top four when they welcome the bottom club in the Premier League, Sunderland, to Goodison Park on Saturday.

The in-form Toffees are on a five-game unbeaten run in the league, including an eye-opening 4-0 win over Manchester City, and currently find themselves in seventh, six points behind Manchester United above them and eight points off a spot in the top four.

While their 0-0 draw against Middlesbrough last time out certainly was disappointing, they will see it more as a blip on the radar rather than an indication that their form is dipping after putting six goals past Bournemouth the week before.

The return to form of Romelu Lukaku has been instrumental in the team's impressive performances of late and Everton will undoubtedly be looking to their talismanic striker to provide the goals again this weekend.

Sunderland produced a stunning 4-0 win away from home against Crystal Palace at the start of February, leading many to believe that manager David Moyes had finally helped his side turn a corner.

However, they were soundly beaten 4-0 at home by Southampton the following week, bringing them firmly back to reality, which is the fact that they are stone last in the Premier League and looking increasingly unlikely of avoiding the drop.

The one thing playing in their favour at the moment is the woeful form of the teams around and, despite their own struggles, they remain just two points away from jumping out of the drop zone.

Unfortunately, it will not matter how close they are to survival if they continue to fail to win games.

Everton will be without Yanick Bolasie, but largely have a fully-fit squad to choose from, while the Black Cats remain in a dire situation in terms of unavailable players.

Papiss Djilobodji is suspended for the match while seven potential starters are out injured including Jack Rodwell, Victor Anichebe, Lee Cattermole, Jordan Pickford, Jan Kirchoff, Paddy McNair and Duncan Watmore.

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