Sunderland had failed to take maximum points from their previous six Tyne-Wear derbies before Sunday’s stunning 3-0 victory. Paulo Di Canio’s arrival at the Stadium of Light has already helped the Black Cats end one barren run and now he’ll need to do the same ahead of Everton’s visit.
David Moyes’ side battled well for a goalless draw against Arsenal on Tuesday evening to keep them in the hunt for the coveted final Champions League spot. Everton will be confident of taking three points back from Wearside given their impressive record against Sunderland.
Everton’s 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture was the 19th consecutive game that Sunderland have failed to win against them.
Early goals have been a feature of Everton’s trips to Wearside. The average time of the first match goal in the Toffees’ past four visits to the Stadium of Light has come in the 18th minute.
Robin van Persie finally ended his goal drought in a straightforward 2-0 victory at the Britannia Stadium that edged Manchester United closer to a 20th league title. Sir Alex Ferguson now needs just seven points from six remaining games and another three can come at West Ham United on Wednesday night.
There were just two bookings in United’s clash with Stoke and that is a trend seen when they have faced West Ham in recent seasons. Those playing the bookings market may have seen that there hasn’t been a dismissal in United’s previous ten meetings with the Hammers.
The highest bookings total is 30 points and there have been three occasions where only one card has been shown in that ten game run. Since the start of the 2008/09 campaign the average bookings total in West Ham v Man United games stands at 21 points.
Manchester United have won eight and lost none of nine previous Premier League games against Stoke and have not lost to them in the league since December 1984.
With the form Stoke are in now and with United needing to pick themselves up after a derby defeat to Manchester City on Monday, this could be painful for the Potters.
Stoke have only scored twice in their last six league games combined, and one of those came from the penalty spot. They have lost seven of their last ten – only tasting victory against basement boys Reading – and have found themselves dragged into the relegation battle.
United have scoring problems of their own with Robin van Persie now failing to net in 685 minutes of football for the Red Devils. He does, however, boast seven goals from just six games against Stoke and found the net in the reverse fixture back in October. That was a 4-2 win for United.
Mexican forward Javier Hernandez has scored four goals in just four Premier League starts against the Potters.
United will set the record for longest unbeaten run on the road this season if they avoid defeat at the Britannia on Sunday. They have won six and drawn two of their last eight away from Old Trafford.
Only Norwich, Sunderland and Aston Villa have managed fewer goals at home than Stoke’s 19. That’s an average of just 1.18 per game. United are averaging 2.06 goals on the road this term.
Blaise Matuidi’s injury time equaliser in the first leg kept PSG’s feint Champions League dreams alive ahead of their trip to the Nou Camp. Carlo Ancelotti faces a huge task in Spain if his side are to reach the last four as the Catalans are formidable at home.
Barcelona have won 14 of their 15 home league games this campaign and they have drawn the other. That home record transfers into European matters and punters must look back 20 games to find Barca’s last home defeat – a run stretching over three years.
The Spanish side’s most recent clash with French opposition produced a 5-2 second-leg victory over Lyon in the 2008/09 last 16 round on the back of a 1-1 away draw, their third successive home win against French teams.
Barcelona have won their past six Champions League last eight ties and have scored 19 times in the process.
Manchester United and Manchester City do battle on Monday night with the title looking increasingly like it will return to the red side of town.
United are 15 points clear in the Premier League going into the match at Old Trafford and spread bettors will be looking at the goals markets to turn a profit in what is likely to be a close encounter.
The corresponding fixture in December had five goals (3-2), including three in the second half, and the four meetings last term had 18 goals. Two of those four also finished 3-2.
The last five games at Old Trafford have all produced over 2.5 goals. Four of those five have had over 3.5 goals.
Wayne Rooney has scored ten goals in Manchester derbies – the most of any United player – and has hit four in his last three.