Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell believes former club Everton will be a team to watch closely in 2016-17.
The 25-year-old is a product of Everton’s youth academy and played 85 times for the senior side before joining Manchester City in 2012.
Rodwell linked up with Sunderland in 2014 and the Black Cats will go head-to-head with the Toffees on Monday night in the Premier League.
The midfielder has admitted he still keeps a close eye on his former employers and feels they have improved hugely since last season.
“I’ve been impressed with them this year,” he said. “They made some signings and spent a bit of money.
“Last season they always played football but they just look a bit more solid and ruthless now.
“With the football they can play, if you add that to it, they will be a threat this season.”
Punters using their free bet may fancy backing the Toffees to continue their fine start to the season on Monday when they travel to the Stadium of Light.