After seeing their unbeaten run come to an end last weekend, Everton will be looking to bounce back with a win away to a Newcastle United side which has taken seven points from the last nine available.
Having gained highly impressive victories against Liverpool and Tottenham, the hosts will have been a little frustrated at not overcoming bottom club Aston Villa in their most recent outing, particularly as had they done so it would have widened the gap between themselves and the drop zone to four points. It was not the most polished performance and a draw was fair on the balance of play, but they were left to rue a glaring miss from Siem De Jong, a player who is still attempting to establish himself in the Magpies team.
Despite scoring the winner at White Hart Lane, Ayoze Perez was again forced to settle for a place on the bench against Villa, but his pace has the potential to be his side’s biggest weapon in this one as he takes on two central defenders who struggled when faced by the guile of Leicester City. But it is also vital that they stay tight at the back, as Everton pose a considerable threat in the shape of in-form duo Romelu Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu.
The record for goals scored in consecutive Premier League games has already been broken once this season, but if Lukaku finds the net here it will only increase the intrigue around his personal exploits. He has found the net in his last eight matches in all competitions and appears to be in the best form of his career so far, but it has not been enough to propel Everton up the standings as the club sit firmly in mid-table, largely as the result of too many draws.
A lack of defensive discipline was the main reason behind their defeat to the leaders, with two costly penalties given away before poor concentration led to the decisive third Leicester goal. Until they become more efficient, Roberto Martinez’ side will not make the progress they are looking for in the immediate future. However, off the field there have been developments with a potential £200m investment on the table.
Perez will be vying for a start alongside Aleksandar Mitrovic as fellow striker Papiss Cisse is a major doubt. Defener Jamaal Lascelles is definitely out.
Everton are without Phil Jagielka and Bryan Oviedo, but Steven Naismith could return from an ankle injury.
Last Meeting: A 3-2 victory in this fixture last season turned out to be Alan Pardew’s last game in charge of Newcastle. They had to respond to the early setback of Arouna Kone giving the visitors the lead, and that they did as Papiss Cisse, Ayoze Perez and Jack Colback all finished well to put them 3-1 up. Everton managed a late consolation through Kevin Mirallas.
Played for both – Dan Gosling: After breaking into the Everton first-team in 2008, Gosling played a supporting role in helping the club to the following year’s FA Cup final as well as managing four goals in 22 league games before leaving for Newcastle in 2010. While on Tyneside he struggled for game time, making just 24 Premier League appearances and scoring once during a four year stay.
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