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Jon Riley 16th Mar 2012 - 17:09

Can Moyes move closer to that elusive trophy?

Everton v Sunderland - 12:45 - live on ITV

Everton and Sunderland will do battle in the first FA Cup quarter-final tie of the weekend with both teams looking to mark impressive campaigns with a trip to Wembley and a piece of silverware.

Before Tuesday's derby defeat to Liverpool, Everton were enjoying a ten match unbeaten run in all competitions but David Moyes' men can still boast a five game winning streak at Goodison. The hosts therefore are well worth their 19/20 favourites tag in the match betting market but as Moyes will know very well, you underestimate a Martin O'Neill team at your peril.

The Northern Irishman has worked wonders on Wearside, transforming a struggling side into a team brimming with confidence that is chasing down a European spot both in the league and in the FA Cup. O'Neill, who supported the club as a boy, remembers well watching his favourites lift the cup back in 1973 and if he can emulate Bobby Stokoe's achievement, he will cement his burgeoning legendary status. The Black Cats can be backed at 3/1 to win the tie on the day.

History though is against them. Everton are unbeaten in 15 against Sunderland, having won 11 and drawn four in the Premier League and FA Cup. The pair did draw 1-1 at the Stadium Of Light on Boxing Day this season, the draw being priced at 23/10 and 1-1 is 6/1.

Midfielders Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar will be missing for the hosts as manager Moyes is expected to rotate his team for the cup after making six changes for the midweek defeat at Anfield. Tim Cahill (11/2 first scorer, 6/4 anytime) and Nikica Jelavic (5/1 first scorer, 5/4 anytime) were both on the bench against Liverpool but with the Toffees expected to approach the match in a more attacking fashion both should be recalled.

Sunderland will be without the suspended Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon for this cup clash and defensive dup Wes Brown and Titus Bramble remain on the sidelines. One bright spot for O'Neill is the recovery of Nicolas Bendtner. The Dane scored the only goal of the game against Liverpool last weekend and has shaken off a knee injury. He can be backed at 15/2 to open the scoring and 9/4 anytime.

In what looks like being possibly the most closely fought quarter-final tie, both managers will be going all out to bag a place in a Wembley semi. In what I believe will be a low scoring affair, I would back Everton to win 1-0, with Jelavic notching the only goal of the game.

Everton 1-0 @ 11/2
Jelavic first scorer @ 5/1
Under 2.5 goals @ 6/10


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