The mathematics are quite simple, if Sunderland take all three points they will remain in the Premier League and relegate North-East rival Newcastle and Norwich, regardless of any other results. Survival will be a great feat for Sam Allardyce who has a fine record of not dropping down a league and has only been relegated once in his 25 year managerial career that has spanned many teams fighting for survival.
If Sunderland do survive the drop it will be thanks to their recent form which has seen them lose only one game in the last nine and came back twice from a losing position to beat Chelsea at the Stadium of Light at the weekend when they won 3-2.
However, the Black Cats do have the unenviable record of not winning back to back at home in two years and have only beaten Everton once at home in their last ten meetings, scoring just six goals.
Everton have nothing to play for except pride, and manager Roberto Martinez will want to at least finish the season on a high after the fans calling for his dismissal have been growing for some weeks.
During their last nine games they have only won once, but their away record is superior to their home with the Toffees taking 24 points away and only 20 at Goodison Park.
Much of the slump has coincided with the slump in form of of Romelu Lukaku, who is without a goal in his last eight league and cup appearances.
However, his opposite number Jermaine Defoe has been much of the catalyst for Sunderland’s revival.