Newcastle United V Everton Preview
St James' Park
Tuesday, March 25
Everton will travel to St James' Park to take on Newcastle United on Tuesday night knowing that a win would see them jump into 5th place. Everton recorded their 6th consecutive home win defeating Swansea City 3-2, although questions will be raised given the poor performance. Newcastle also recorded a home win on the weekend needing a late Cisse strike to defeat Crystal Palace 1-0. As mentioned in the intro, these 3pts are vital for Everton fi they harbour ambitions of finishing in the European places come the end of the season, for Newcastle, they will look to finish the season as strong as possible.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez once again stated the need for European football at Everton next season saying
'What we want to do is make sure this season affects the seasons after. The only way you can do that is qualifying for Europe. 'It's a big target of ours to make sure that the good work we have done this season can [help us] kick on next season. That will be [by] being in Europe, Whichever the competition. It will be a big summer for us whatever happens, maybe you can get one extra signing where the player is excited about the Champions League. But I don't think it will make a big difference in what we are going to be as a football club.'
Newcastle United Team News:
Newcastle will still be without frontman Loic Remy who is set to miss with a niggling ankle injury. Fullback Mathieu Debuchy is also expected to miss once again with a groin injury. The game will probably come too early for Davide Santon (tonsillitis) and Sammy Ameobi (ankle), although both stand a dance to feature in the weekend game against Southampton.
Possible Starting XI: Krul, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Tiote, Williamson, Coloccini, Sissoko, Anita, Cisse, De Jong, Gouffran
Player to watch: Papiss Cisse
After a blistering start to his Newcastle career, the Senegalese striker has struggled since, and this season lost his place to on loan striker Remy, however, with the Frenchman sidelined through injury it seems Cisse has grasped his chance and he scored the winner for the Toon on the weekend against Crystal Palace. Newcastle will be hoping Cisse can carry that form till the end of the season and Everton defenders will ned to be wary of Cisse because he is capable of anything.
Everton Team News:
Everton will be boosted by the return of club captain Phil Jagielka after he missed the lsat 3 matches with a hamstring problem. Steven Pienaar is still a few weeks away with a knee injury and is set to return sometime in April. He joins Oviedo, Kone, Gibson and Traore on the injury list. Given the short turnaround between games, it will be interesting to see whether Martinez will shuffle the pack a bit
Possible Starting XI: Howard, Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Coleman, McCarthy, Barry, Mirallas, McGeady, Barkley, Lukaku
Player to watch: Romelu Lukaku
The big Belgian's return from an ankle injury has been a timely boost for Everton, Lukaku has scored 3 in 3 since his return and it seems that break from playing has done the 20yr old a world of good after really struggling prior to his injury. Lukaku will again spearhead the Everton attack and look to cause the Newcastle defence all sorts of problems with his pace, strength and eye for goal.
Match Facts & Stats
1. Everton have won 3 of the last 4 meetings between the two sides, with the other ending in a draw. Everton defeated Newcastle 3-2 earlier in the season at Goodison and defeated Newcastle 2-1 at St James' Park last season
2. Despite the strong recent form, Newcastle still hold a 62-61 head to head record with Everton
3. Despite a strong season from Everton, their away form has been horrible this season winning only 4 of their 14 away matches, and they have not won an away game since December.
4. An Everton win would mark 4 consecutive victories for Everton, something they haven't done since 2008
5. With Baines scoring his penalty against Swansea, it took his tally to 12 from 12 from the penalty spot
Very hard match to predict as both Everton and Newcastle can be inconsistent at times, you only have to look at the reverse fixture this season at Goodison. Both sides are coming into the game in decent form, however, Everton's away form has really been their downfall in the chase for a top 4 spot, and it is something they really need to improve on. Newcastle are missing some key players, and it will definitely help Everton's cause, however, I will just sit firmly on the fence and say 1-1 with Cisse and Lukaku scoring. COYB!!! MUST WIN GAME!!! WE ALL WANT TO GO ON A EUROPEAN TOUR!!!