Even though they were dropped to ten men late in the match, Everton battled to a 0-0 draw against a hot Crystal Palace on Saturday at Selhurst Park, improving their record to only two losses in seven Premier League (PL) games. Even so, a significant four draws during that run let the Toffees drop back into the relegation zone going into this midweek round on the basis of goal differential.
With only one victory in the previous six Premier League head to head meetings with Newcastle United, manager Sean Dyche referred to Saturday’s result as a point earned, so he will be aware of how crucial it will be to follow that up with a victory here. That one victory did occur in this match up the year before, and it served as the catalyst for a key run of four home PL games without a loss (W3, D1) in the closing weeks that finally helped the Blues avoid the drop, a feat Dyche will undoubtedly be eager to duplicate.
Newcastle clearly demonstrated at the weekend that they are a different animal this season when they humiliated rival top four hopefuls Tottenham 6-1 by scoring an incredible five goals in only 21 minutes. The Toon Army has now scored a total of 54 league goals, their most since 2002/03 (also 54), a season in which they went on to finish third. Only Manchester City have scored five Premier League goals earlier in a game (against Watford, 2019), and overall, the Toon Army have now tallied a total of 54 league goals.
Newcastle fans are legitimately dreaming of legendary Champions League nights back at St James’ Park because of the enormous distance between them and fifth place, and another victory would move them one step closer to that dream. Goodison Park hasn’t actually been a happy hunting ground for the Magpies, who have only won one of their last 10 visits (D3, L6). This streak includes the defeat from last season, which unnervingly occurred on a Thursday night!
At Selhurst Park, Dominic Calvert-Lewin made his comeback to Everton’s starting lineup after missing the previous 10 games. In his last seven appearances against Newcastle, he has contributed to six goals (G5, A1). Callum Wilson, a Newcastle player who has scored six goals in his previous five Premier League head to head matches, was on the scoring trail at the weekend.
Last weekend marked Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s much anticipated return to Everton’s starting lineup after a two and a half month absence.
The 26 years old should start as the only striker once more. Calvert-Lewin has a strong career record against Newcastle, scoring five goals in seven encounters and setting up Iwobi for the game winning goal in this match up last season.
Abdoulaye Doucoure’s return to the Toffees after serving his three matches suspension following the red card he received against Spurs will be a huge boost for them.
Amadou Onana might also make a comeback in the middle of midfield after missing the last two Everton games due to injury.
Seamus Coleman is anticipated to stay out, thus Nathan Patterson will likely start at right back because Mason Holgate will be suspended for being sent off late in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Palace.
Fabian Schar of Newcastle will undergo a late fitness test after tweaking his hamstring during the weekend’s significant victory over Spurs.
The Frenchman Allan Saint-Maximin is unlikely to play after Howe said that this match might be too soon for him.
With six goals in his previous five matches against Everton, Callum Wilson has a strong record against the Toffees. Howe will need to decide whether to start Callum Wilson, Alexander Isak, or both.
Everton possible starting lineup
Pickford, Patterson, Keane, Tarkowski, Mykolenko, Iwobi, Onana, Gueye, Doucoure, McNeil and Calvert-Lewin.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup
Pope, Trippier, Schar, Botman, Burn, Willock, Bruno Guimaraes, Longstaff, Murphy, Wilson and Joelinton.
We predict: Everton 0–2 Newcastle Unitrd
Even with Calvert-Lewin back, Everton’s attack is still relatively weak, and they might find it difficult to get through Newcastle’s defense given how strong it has been this year.
The visitors will be quite confident in their ability to defeat an out of form team and secure all three points to demonstrate their top four ambitions.