SUNDERLAND can expect to face bogey side Everton next in the FA Cup if they overcome Bolton in their third round replay next Tuesday (7.45pm).
The Black Cats – or Bolton – were drawn at home in the fourth round to either Everton or Cheltenham, who meet tonight with the League Two side having home advantage.
In-form Everton are overwhelming favourites to make progress.
And should Sunderland beat Bolton next Tuesday, then the Black Cats will have the chance to ease the pain of Martin O’Neill’s worst moment as Sunderland manager.
He was devastated at his side’s failure to perform against the Toffeemen in last year’s FA Cup quarter-final. His side had produced stirring performances to get past Peterborough, Arsenal and Middlesbrough to reach the last eight and cup fever was building on Wearside when David Moyes’ men came to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland had held Everton to a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park courtesy of a Phil Bardsley screamer – with current Sunderland target Tim Cahill scoring the leveller.
And a big home crowd was hoping for a Sunderland win which would earn Wearside fans a trip to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final just four months after the only talk in the city had been about fear of relegation.
On the night though, Everton gave what Moyes regarded as his team’s best performance of the season, and Sunderland couldn’t live with them.
If the teams meet again, O’Neill will be determined to see a much better display from his men. However, for the moment, he will only be thinking of getting past Bolton next week.
The replay is due to take place on Tuesday, but the club is warning supporters the date could change if the game is selected for live television broadcast.
Tickets for the game went on sale today priced £15 for adults and £5 for under-16s and over-65s. Black Cats Bar seats are £35.
Supporters enrolled in the Home Cup Payment Scheme will have their season cards automatically enabled and do not need to take any further action.
Season card holders have until 5pm this Thursday to buy their seat. Any unsold season card seats will be made available for general sale from 9am on Friday.
FA Cup fourth round draw:
Norwich v Luton
Oldham v Liverpool, Macclesfield v Wigan or Bournemouth
Derby v Blackburn
Hull or Leyton Orient v Barnsley
Middlesbrough v Aldershot
Millwall v Aston Villa
Leeds or Birmingham v Tottenham
Brighton v Swansea or Arsenal
Crystal Palace or Stoke v Manchester City
West Ham or Manchester United v Fulham or Blackpool
Southend or Brentford v Chelsea
Reading v Sheffield United
Huddersfield v Leicester
QPR or West Brom v Sheffield Wednesday or MK Dons
Bolton or SUNDERLAND v Cheltenham or Everton
Ties to be played on the weekend of January 26-27.