Sunderland AFC news: Shearer backs Black Cats, Allardyce press conference, Defoe for England?

Sam Allardyce speaks to the press ahead of Everton test
Sam Allardyce speaks to the press ahead of Everton test
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Sunderland can secure their Premier League survival with victory over Everton on Wednesday night.

And boss Sam Allardyce is due to hold his pre-match press conference this afternoon ahead of the match.

Chris Young is at the Academy of Light bringing you the very latest team news, injury updates and transfer news ahead of the game.

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Meanwhile, Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer believes Sunderland must give Sam Allardyce financial backing next season – and if they do, their struggles will be over.

He wrote in his Sun column today: "Sam Allardyce knows what the Premier League is about and knows what it takes to avoid relegation.

"With the extra time he has been given, it looks like he has instilled a great team spirit at Sunderland.

"Now, if they get the points they require this week, Sunderland will have the chance to push on next season.

"But only if they give Sam the financial backing he needs because it is all down to recruitment.

"We have heard from previous managers at Sunderland that recruitment has been a problem there.

"But I don’t think Sam will allow that to happen, otherwise he will not stick around."

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Sunderland fans are encouraged to stay behind following the full-time whistle on Wednesday evening to show their support as the players complete a lap of appreciation.

A club statement added: "The Black Cats have been backed by an unrivalled following at the Stadium of Light and on the road during the 2015-16 campaign, with Saturday’s 3-2 win over Chelsea once again underlining the importance of the fans and the positive impact they have on the pitch.

"A second consecutive sell-out is expected on Wednesday evening when Sunderland entertain Everton (kick-off 7.45pm), and the players will show their gratitude to the supporters following the full-time whistle.

"If possible, supporters are urged to remain in their seat for a few additional minutes before the Lads exit the Stadium of Light pitch for a final time during the 2015-16 season."

And finally, should Jermain Defoe be on the plane to France with England this summer?

Defoe has scored 15 goals in the Premier League - with three goals coming in the Capital One Cup - and in the league he scores every 164 minutes for the Black Cats.

His shots on target rate is 64 per cent - better than both Kane (61 per cent) and Vardy (58 per cent) with 35 of Defoe's 55 attempts on goal on target.

The 33-year-old has played 55 times for England, scoring 19 goals but he hasn't featured for the national side since 2013.

He would be considered an outside bet to make the England squad but his chances of getting a late call have been boosted by fears over Danny Welbeck's fitness.

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