Pienaar cup-tied as Everton welcome the Black Cats to Goodison Park
Midfielder Steven Pienaar is cup-tied for Everton’s FA Cup quarter-final against Sunderland this Saturday lunchtime.
David Moyes also looks likely to be without Irish midfielder Darren Gibson who is still struggling with a knee injury.
The manager is expected to make several changes to the side which suffered a crushing defeat in the Merseyside derby in midweek, after admitting multiple players have picked up knocks, although Moyes refused to name the players in question.
Martin O’Neill is boosted by the news that striker Nicklas Bendtner should be fit to start for the Black Cats.
Despite the Danish striker being forced to leave the field on a stretcher during last weekend’s win over Liverpool, the club have said he has recovered ahead of schedule and is expected to be fit.
Full-back Kieran Richardson looks unlikely to return, so Wayne Bridge should continue to deputise, while captain Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon remain suspended.
Kick-off at Goodison Park is at 12:45 on Saturday afternoon.