Newcastle vs Everton by Luke
Newcastle comes from yet another defeat and a negative result, as the side suffered narrow 2:3 loss in front of own fans against Leicester on Saturday afternoon. They however took the lead in fourth minute with a goal from Joselu and had decent number of chances created during the game.
However it was obvious that the players of Leicester were more superior on the field having much more of the ball possession and overall, being way threatening in attack and more concrete side. Mahrez brought the equalizer to visitors in 20th minute, with Gray bringing them into the lead in 60th minute and even though Gayle managed to level up in 73rd, more concrete visitors took all three points thanks to an own goal few minutes before the end of the game.
Even though the final result could have been different, overall impression is that the players of Leicester were scoring easier and that the hosts need to work on their defensive gaps. The side now has just two points more than relegating placed West Brom and the pressure is pilling up on them.
Hosts should be lined up in 4-2-3-1 formation with Gayle as central striker, plus Atsu, Perez and Rithie as offensive midfielders. Left back Paul Dummett (1/0) is unfit coming from difficult injury.
Everton, on the other side, comes from a very positive result, since the side managed to take a point in a local derby game against much more favorited Liverpool in a 1:1 draw on Sunday afternoon. Their is no doubt that the Reds were more superior side overall and probably deserved more out of the clash but it wasn't their day overall.
Despite having much more of the ball possession and limiting the visitors to a very defensive role - they didn't managed to be more concrete in attack finally paying the price for it. Salah brought the Reds into the lead in 42nd minute, but the hosts simply failed to score the second goal, while the visitors replied via penalty kick taken by Rooney in 77th minute leaving little time for the hosts to react. It was their third consecutive game without a defeat, previously winning over West Ham and Huddersfield at home and surely want to keep up the momentum in this one as well.
Left back Leighton Baines (13/2) is doubtful for this match, while injured and surely out remain goalkeeper Maarten Stekelnburg, central back Ramiro Funes Mori, right back Seamus Coleman, midfielders James McCarthy and Ross Barkley, plus offensive Yannick Bolasie, all without performance this season in Premier League.
On the bright side, Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka are available again. Guests should be lined up in a version of 4-1-4-1 formation with Calvert-Lewin most likely as central striker, plus Lennon, Davies, Rooney and Sigurdsson as offensive midfielders.
- Newcastle have seen over 2.5 goals in 10 of their last 11 matches against Everton.
Newcastle is in a really poor form now having won just once since start of October and in my eyes, they have no other option here but to search for a victory and to try to attack from the very beginning of the clash. Everton started playing better under Sam Allardyce and it wouldn't be a surprise in case they walk away with important victory here.
All in all, I can't see this match being an defensive one, since the momentum strongly favors Everton, but the hosts need to react badly here.