EVERTON’S win over Chelsea at the weekend could well have made Sunderland’s task against the Toffeemen this weekend doubly difficult.
It also provides a perfect advert for the value of the FA Cup in helping turn a club’s season around.
Everton have been going nowhere fast in recent months and there’s been a real gloom about Goodison Park but the club and its supporters will have received a huge lift courtesy of their cup victory over Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
It certainly gave Sunderland a massive lift when we won there in November and it could do the same for Everton.
They will fancy their chances against Sunderland this weekend and in the half-dozen games that follow for Everton, David Moyes’ men have games they will view as winnable.
It hasn’t been a great season for them so far but with Reading waiting in the next round of the cup, they could easily be looking at a semi-final, maybe even better, and the chance to surge back up into the top half of the table.
This is the sort of optimism that a cup run can bring and it just reminds me how disappointing it was that Sunderland should not only have gone out of both cup competitions so early, but have gone out in home games on both occasions.
With Manchester United and Arsenal looking likely to face each other in one semi-final, the way is open for Everton to maybe sneak through to a cup final if things work out well for them.
And it means that Sunderland will face an Everton side looking to use cup joy to bounce themselves into league success.