Everton boss Ronald Koeman has warned his team to beware Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe in Monday night’s Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light.
And he wants the Toffees to cut the supply line to the predatory hitman.
The 33-year-old has already notched twice in the first three games of the season, with his penalty conversion at Southampton two weeks ago enough to secure the Black Cats’ first point.
Now Everton head to Wearside looking to make amends for last May’s 3-0 humbling from the Red and Whites.
Asked about the threat posed by former Tottenham and Portsmouth star Defoe, Goodison chief Koeman admitted: “Defoe is very dangerous – he is always finding space with good movements.
“If he has a chance, normally it’s a goal and we need to prepare for him because he is showing his productivity as a striker.
“But it’s not just Defoe – if we can stop the midfielders passing to Defoe then we don’t have that problem.”
Defoe notched for Sunderland in last season’s 6-2 defeat at Everton, but failed to get on the scoresheet in the return.
Up against Koeman, who managed Southampton in each of the last two seasons, Defoe has scored once in three games, the late opener in a 1-1 draw at St Mary’s back in May.