Everton v Sunderland preview
Toffees smarting from derby defeat; Black Cats out to end Goodison run
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: March 16, 2012 11:59am
Everton will be looking to extend Sunderland's Goodison Park hoodoo this weekend by booking a place in the FA Cup semi-finals.
The Saturday lunch-time kick-off is the first of four intriguing quarter-final clashes, three of which are all Premier League affairs.
Everton and Sunderland are separated by only goal difference in the top half yet the Black Cats have a wretched record at Goodison Park.
The Wearsiders have won there just twice in 30 years, with their last away success against Everton coming in November 1996.
In fact, Sunderland have failed to beat the Toffees in their last 15 meetings, meaning their last win against them was in December 2001, Claudio Reyna scoring the only goal at the Stadium of Light.
Everton suffered a 3-0 derby defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday night but David Moyes' men went into the game on the back of a nine-match unbeaten run, which included FA Cup wins over Fulham and Blackpool in the previous two rounds.
The Toffees are unbeaten in their last seven home games and Moyes is hoping to mark his 10th anniversary at Goodison by claiming a first trophy as Everton boss.
He went close in 2009, losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup final, while this is the furthest Sunderland have gone in the competition since losing to Millwall in the 2004 semi-finals.
Everton have won 2-0 on each of Sunderland's last two trips to Goodison and their last meeting was a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day.
Sunderland's resurgence under Martin O'Neill has continued as they have lost just four of his 18 games in charge and claimed a 1-0 home win against Liverpool last weekend.
Moyes is expected to rotate his squad after making six changes in midweek. Johnny Heitinga, Phil Neville, Royston Drenthe, Leon Osman, Tim Cahill and Nikica Jelavic all started last week's 1-0 home win against Tottenham but were dropped to the bench at Anfield.
Steven Pienaar will definitely make way as the on-loan winger is cup-tied while midfielder Darron Gibson (knee) is unlikely to return.
Sunderland striker Nicklas Bendtner (knee) is expected to be fit despite leaving the field on a stretcher after scoring the only goal against Liverpool last week.
However, Kieran Richardson (calf) is losing his battle to recover in time while Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (Achilles/calf) will definitely remain out. They have been joined on the sidelines by banned pair Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon.
Everton v Sunderland FA Cup
Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet believes confidence in the Black Cats camp has flourished since Martin O'Neill took over as manager.
Tim Cahill is hoping it will be third time lucky for him in this season's FA Cup, with the Everton forward aiming to erase his final heartache.
Steve Round was disappointed Everton were not able to defeat Sunderland at the first attempt after a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.