Everton will be looking to build on their Europa League win during the week with victory over Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Everton left it late to defeat Dynamo Kiev on Thursday night but their win ensures they remain the only English team with a good chance of staying in Europe beyond the current round. They are still in the bottom half of the league however and will want to put some distance between themselves and the relegation zone with three points.
Newcastle suffered a demoralising last-minute defeat at the hands of Manchester United in their last league game and will be looking to get back on track with a win at Everton. However, they must do so without the services of Papiss Cisse who has been suspended for spitting at United’s Johnny Evans.
Can this be the game that Roberto Martinez’ tactics work or will it be another day of disappointment?
Leighton Baines picked up a knock against Dynamo Kiev but could still be available this weekend providing he passes a late fitness test. John Stones should also be available if he recovers from his illness. This game will be too early for Aiden McGeady and Steven Pienaar however, next week is more likely to see their return.
Newcastle have several injuries in their squad. Steven Taylor and Cheick Tiote are both injured while Siem De Jong and Paul Dummett join them on the list of absentees. Papiss Cisse begins his suspension and so will be unavailable for selection. There is some good news though; Jack Colback and Remy Cabella are in line to make their return to action.
- Everton have only won just one of their last 12 league games.
- They have yet to get a league win at home in 2015.
- The Toffees have only lost one of their last six league games against Newcastle.
- Newcastle have only been victorious on one of their last 11 trips to Everton.
- Only the bottom three clubs have conceded more away goals than Newcastle.
- Under John Carver, Newcastle have won just four points from a possible 12 in away games.
Jagielka has been one of the few positives about Everton’s domestic campaign so far this season, putting in some fine defensive performances worthy of his captaincy. He has made 27 league appearances and has won two thirds of all the duels he has been involved in. Looking at this in more detail, Jagielka has a winning percentage in each duel statistic. He has a 58% success rate when tackling and 62% when involved in headed duels. The defender has been involved in average of 12 defensive actions per game with the vast majority of these (258) being clearances. He has made four defensive errors this season however with one leading to a goal. Everton are in desperate need of a league win and Jagielka will have to do his part by ensuring Newcastle can’t score.
Colback has been in fine form for Newcastle this season and has made 25 league appearances. The midfielder has only scored three goals but according to Squawka.com, he has created 33 chances for his team mates and registered four assists in the process. In the league, he has completed 901 passes which means he has an impressive passing accuracy of 89%. He has only managed to win just under half of his duels however with the only winning percentage in this respect being how many fouls he has suffered compared to how many he has committed. Colback is a strong presence in midfield for Newcastle and if his team are to improve their away form, he will have to be at the top of his game on Sunday.
Everton have been less than satisfactory at home but the game against Newcastle is probably their best chance of a win in a while due to the Magpies’ poor away form. However, I still think Everton have problems to overcome and so I can see this game resulting in a 1-1 draw.
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