Date:Friday May 11 2012
Sunday, May 13
Everton look to finish the season on a good note as they take on Champions League hopefuls Newcastle United. Everton, despite only losing 2 of its last 16 games, suffered a poor 0-0 draw against bottom side Wolves, although they were a tad unlucky, however, at Goodison, Everton have been in fine form netting four goals in their last two home games. Newcastle have been the surprise packet of this season, however, they suffered a 2-0 loss at home against top placed Manchester City. Both teams will be up for the finale, with Newcastle currently sitting in 5th, 2pts off third placed Arsenal and will be trying to finish their fine season with Champions League football. Everton on the other hand have only local bragging rights to fight for, with a win guaranteeing 7th and finishing above bitter rivals Liverpool.
Everton centre back Phil Jagielka spoke about the importance of the final game saying
'It's nice to finish at home and it's nice there's something on the game. I'm sure the fans will be looking forward to it. We might still need some sort of result come Sunday and, if that's the case, I'm sure the fans will get behind us and hopefully we'll send them home happy.'
Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye highlighted how tough the match will be saying
'It's going to be a difficult match against Everton. We knew even if we won against Manchester City, we would have to win at Everton. We must give everything. It's been a great season. There's one match left and we must try our hardest to try and get as high up the table as we can.'
Everton could receive a big boost with trio Leighton Baines (hamstring), Phil Neville (hamstring) and Darron Gibson (groin) all returning to training this week and a good chance of featuring in the match. The only definite absentees will be youngsters Jack Rodwell (hamstring) and Victor Anichebe (groin).
Possible Starting XI: Howard, Distin, Jagielka, Heitinga, Hibbert, Fellaini, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Cahill, Jelavic
The unsung hero for Everton, his return is a timely boost for the side, who have sorely missed the Irishman in the last 2 games. Cost a poultry 500K from United and has been brilliant for Everton, he offers Everton stability in the middle of the park and his partnership with Fellaini has been one of the reasons behind Everton's revival this season. Gibson will look to continue his impressive streak for Everton in which he hasn't lost in an Everton shirt in the league, a streak stretching back to late January.
Newcastle duo Danny Guthrie (calf) and Shola Ameobi (knee) will have late fitness tests to see if they can feature in the match. the definite absentees for the Toon are Danny Simpson (ankle), Steven Taylor (achilles) and Peter Lovenkrands (thigh).
Possible Starting XI: Krul, Perch, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Tiote, Cabaye, Gutierrez, Ben Arfa, Ba, Cisse
Does anything else need to be said? His impressive goal scoring record speaks for itself and has filled the number 9 shirt for Newcastle brilliantly. Some of his goals have been simply stunning and has given Newcastle a boost in the 2nd half of the season and helped them keep them in Champions League contention. A shrewd signing by Pardew for 9mil, the Everton defenders are going to have to keep a close eye on the striker, or else, like he has done so many times, he will punish Everton.
1. Despite Everton's poor form in opening matches of the season, their form in the last game of the season has been impressive, winning the last 5 finales to the season
2. Marouane Fellaini and Phil Neville both opened their account for Everotn against the Magpies
3. Newcastle have never won an away game on the final day of the season in the Premier League era.
4. For a combined 14.5mil, Jelavic and Cisse, who were signed in January, have combined to score 23 goals, with Cisse scoring 13 and Jelavic 10
5. Last week's 0-0 draw against Wolves was the first goalless draw for Everton in the last 70 games.
Tough game to predict, it is an important game for both clubs, some could argue that Newcastle have more at stake, which is understandable with them still in contention for the lucrative Champions League, but for Everton, finishing above Liverpool will give the fans a little boost, since it has only happened twice in recent seasons, and will want to secure 7th to get as much prize money as possible. It should be an entertaining game with both sides playing good football, however, it is hard to argue against Everton's home form, they have completely battered Fulham and Sunderland 4-0 in the past 2 home games, and also have beat the likes of Spurs, City and Chelsea during their 2nd half of the season run. Result wise, I will say 2-1 to Everton, with Jelavic scoring twice and Cisse for Newcastle. COME ON LADS, FINISH ABOVE THE ENEMY AND END THE SEASON ON A GOOD NOTE!!!
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Date:Friday May 11 2012
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