Salut! Sunderland wishes all readers and contributors a much merrier Christmas than the plight of Sunderland AFC suggests is possible, and hopes against hope for a brighter new year. Enjoy the eccentric choice of a gallery of photos from the Royal Library of Denmark …
Is it possible?
Can we for once go to Everton and do what has not been done there since 1996 in the league, 1998 in the league cup?
The odds are stacked against Sunderland, not just because of that grim record of defeats punctuated by the occasional draw but because a look at the two teams tells its own story. Everton are enjoying a good season, SAFC are, well, not.
Week after week, Sunderland supporters loyally roll up here and predict a win, voting with their hearts but also knowing what is a more likely outcome.
Yet we have to keep believing escape is possible, at least until this becomes mathematically impossible. That point will not be reached for a long time – March according to the gloomy Pete Sixsmith – and would not be reached at all if only Gus Poyet could turn the sort of passion and commitment shown against Chelsea into stonking performances in the Premier.
In the spirit of Christmas, the just-for-fun basis of Guess the Score is changed for this match only. The life-enhancing prize of a Salut! Sunderland mug will go to the reader who is first to predict the correct scoreline before kickoff on Thursday. An Everton winner would receive a mug with a suitably modified design.
The editor’s decision is, as usual, final.
Ha’way the Lads.
Oh, and come back tomorrow – Christmas Eve – for another edition of our “Who are You?” series.
Salut! Sunderland: You must have come to expect a routine three points, or cup progress, whenever you play Sunderland. We finally beat you again at home last season; is it our turn to match you at Goodison or are you already licking your lips at the prospect of a Boxing Day goals fest?
Paul Dargan, author and Evertonian:
Sunderland’s travelling support always give as good as they get, regardless of the fact that we always seem to give you a pasting at Goodison so huge respect for that, in the least patronising or condescending way at all. It has been interesting to see the Paolo Di Canio debacle, coupled with the arrival of Gus Poyet and how Sunderland have dealt with it. It seems that Di Canio did try to get the squad fit in the summer and it certainly helped during the extra-time period against Chelsea, which now sees you in the semi-final and having a chance of really transforming your fortunes.
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