Sunderland turn their attention away from their stuttering Championship campaign when they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Carabao Cup tonight.
The visitors have emerged unscathed against lower league opposition in the previous two rounds and know all the pressure will be on Ronald Koeman’s underachieving men.
One Everton player who will know the visiting Wearside club well is goalkeeper Jordan Pickford who made the move to Merseyside in the summer.
Boss Simon Grayson didn’t get to work with Pickford at the Stadium of Light but knows first-hand how good he is having had the youngster at Preston on loan.
“He is a great kid, fantastic shot saver, good ability, good distribution. I always felt he would be a Premier League player and an England no.1 of the future,” he told the Chronicle Live.
Given how highly he regards the keeper, Grayson understandably doesn’t want his strikers to have to face Pickford tonight!
“He is only going to improve and let’s hope he is not playing against us.”
In light of Everton’s recent poor run, Koeman is expected to pick a strong side. However, in their Europa League game against Atalanta he rotated keepers to give Maarten Stekelenburg a game and could do the same tonight.
Even though Everton have had a dismal start to the season it’s going to be a tough night for Sunderland.
Although, the visitors can take heart from their away form which reads one defeat in six this campaign.
As for Pickford, he will surely be desperate to play against his boyhood club and his old team-mates.
What do you think Sunderland fans? Can you progress? How good is Jordan Pickford? Let us know in the comments below.