By Alex Taylor
Paul Merson has predicted Everton will beat Sunderland 2-0 at the Stadium of Light on Monday evening.
The former Arsenal midfielder believes David Moyes will not enjoy his latest reunion with the Toffees and will leave the game still looking for his first win as Sunderland manager.
Defeat would leave Moyes’ side with just one point from their opening four Premier League fixtures this season.
The last time Moyes managed a team against Everton, he was Manchester United boss and the loss at Goodison Park led to his dismissal.
“I know David Moyes is looking for his first victory but I don’t think it comes against Everton, who are my dark horses this year,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Ross Barkley will be champing at the bit to make sure he gets going, and it’s only a matter of time before the goals start coming for Romelu Lukaku.
“Sunderland will play into their hands and I think it’s an away win for Ronald Koeman’s side.”
The two teams have played each other 180 times in their history, with Everton winning 79 games, drawing 31 and losing 70.
Sunderland’s recent record against the Blues is rather better though – in their last four meetings the Black Cats have won two, drawn one and lost one.
Everton will be hoping new signings Ashley Williams, Idrissa Gueye and Yannick Bolasie can begin to form the spine of a winning side under new manager Ronald Koeman.
In other Everton team news, Koeman has revealed that he spoke with Tottenham’s new £30million man 10 days before deadline day.