Competition: Premier League – Newcastle United vs. Everton
Venue: St James’ Park – Saturday, December 26 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 EST)
Match Odds: Newcastle United 19/10 – Draw 5/2 – Everton 13/10
Having spent a lot of money in the summer on signings like Georginio Wijnaldum, Newcastle shouldn’t be fighting relegation. They currently lie just two points off the drop zone and despite an upturn in results over the past few weeks, more still needs to be done.
However, St James’ Park has always tended to be a tough place to visit and with three wins in their last six in the top flight, Newcastle have relieved some pressure.
Newcastle United’s Premier League Record: P17 – W4 – D5 – L8
Steve McClaren is still under pressure though and the Newcastle fans expect a lot more at the club. A win on Boxing Day would be a huge result for the Magpies.
Everton have drawn their last three away from home and despite looking good in recent weeks, they’ve struggled to take the points they will feel they should have.
As a result, the trip to Newcastle looks a tough one and sealing three points will be tougher than it perhaps should be.
Their season is entirely dependent of the form of Romelu Lukaku who is chasing down Jamie Vardy’s incredible record of scoring in 11 straight games, as the Belgian currently stands on seven in a row.
Everton’s Premier League Record: P17 – W5 – D8 – L4
They have stuttered of late but have the quality to challenge for Europe, as long as they can get key players back from injuries. But the same could be said for most top-half sides and Everton
The Toffees have won four of their last five meetings with Newcastle in the Premier League but did lose 3-2 in a thriller on December 28 last season.
Newcastle United will be without Papiss Cisse, Mike Williamson, Jamaal Lascelles, Massadio Haidara, Rolando Aarons, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, Emmanuel Riviere and Steven Taylor who are all out through injury. Aleksander Mitrovic will spearhead the attack in the absence of Cisse.
Everton have Steven Naismith and James McCarthy as doubts, while Tyias Browning, Bryan Oviedo, Phil Jagielka, Tony Hibbert and Steven Pienaar are all out with injuries.
Newcastle United’s last five: L/L/W/W/D
Everton’s last five: W/D/D/D/L
Key Stat: Everton have won more points away from home than Newcastle have at home this season.
Key Player: Romelu Lukaku – The powerful Belgian striker is starting to live up to the price tag for the Toffees and is becoming impossible to suppress. Expect him to cause Newcastle problems from the outset.
Newcastle United 1-2 Everton – Tough one to call as Newcastle have improved recently, but shutting out Everton is not an easy task. The most likely scenario will see goals, and we’re expecting a few of those.