Sunderland AFC news: Everton handed triple fitness boost, Jeff Stelling hails Cats duo, Lee Cattermole impact

Romelu Lukaku in action against Sunderland
Romelu Lukaku in action against Sunderland
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Everton have been handed a triple fitness boost ahead of the Sunderland match.

Toffees boss Ronald Koeman has revealed striker Romelu Lukaku and midfield duo James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas are back in training ahead of the game at Goodison Park on Saturday (KO 3pm).

Lukaku missed the recent five-day training camp in Dubai after travelling to Belgium to seek treatment on a minor calf problem while neither McCarthy (hamstring) or Mirallas (groin) were risked in the goalless draw at Middlesbrough.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Koeman confirmed that all three have been involved in training ahead of Saturday.

Koeman said: "Romelu had a little calf problem but has been back in training for the last three days.

"James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas have also trained with the group this week."

Lamine Kone versus Lukaku is shaping up to be the key battle at Goodison Park.

The Everton striker has netted 16 goals in 25 appearances this season, adding to his overall total of 76 goals and 26 assists in 173 Premier League appearances.

It is some record and he is the dangerman.

On his day, though, Kone can be the difference for Sunderland. David Moyes needs the Ivory Coast international to be on top of his game after a poor display against Southampton.

Kone has a 94 per cent tackle success rate in his 20 appearances this season.

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Meanwhile, Soccer Saturday host Jeff Stelling believes the battle for Premier League survival is going right down to the wire.

Hartlepool United-mad Stelling has a passion for all things blue and white but he “desperately” hopes the Black Cats can pull off another great escape for the good of the North East.

Richard Mennear caught up with Hartlepool-born Stelling to discuss the relegation picture, the brilliance of Jermain Defoe and why keeping Sunderland up would be one of David Moyes’ greatest achievements.

Read our in-depth feature here:
And finally, George Honeyman says long-serving Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole is a player he looks up to, and his return from injury will be a major boost for the Black Cats’ squad.

Cattermole is due back next month and has been stepping up his recovery in recent weeks.

Honeyman said: "When Catts gets back that will be a big boost. I love being around him because he’s one of the ones that mentally drags people through.

"Under his wing is not a bad place to be.

"I like to think I go at it every training session, every match, and I think he’s probably the biggest one for that – I just love his competitive spirit and it’s something I can draw from."

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