With results going more or less our way tonight, it places more emphasis on the importance of getting a good result at Goodison Park tomorrow. A win will more than likely see the Magpies climb out of the relegation zone.
Both teams had active winter transfer windows, however for Everton they only signed one first team player in Senegalese striker Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow. He comes with pace and power but unfortunately for his club, he will not be featuring against Newcastle. Their other 2 signings are prospects for the future, while the most notable exit from the Evertonian camp was Aiden McGeady, who has left on loan to Sheffield Wednesday.
For the Toon, we have the pleasure of having welcomed Jon-Jo Shelvey, Henri Saivet, Andros Townsend and the Ivorian striker Seydou ‘Rhino’ Doumbia – the latter having a pretty prolific record in the same Country Everton’s Niasse has just came from – Russia. Despite a late push for Saido Berahino it was not to be and the Toon also failed to land a left back having seen negotiations fail (thankfully) for Jose Enrique and (not so thankfully) Kieran Gibbs amongst others.
1) Of the 169 games between the two sides, Everton just shade it with 69 wins to Newcastle’s 65.
2) Newcastle have not won this away fixture since September 2010 courtesy of a Hatem Ben Arfa stunner.
3) In fact, the Magpies have only recorded 3 wins at Goodison Park since the turn of the Century (15 games). Everton have won 8 of those games.
4) Everton have won 6 of the last 8 games against Newcastle.
5) One glimmer of hope is that Everton have not won in the league since they bet the Toon back in December.
6) Unfortunately for us – both Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku love playing Newcastle. They have 8 goals and 4 assists between them from a collective total of 12 games against us. That’s a goal a game…
Oumar Niasse misses out as he arrived after the midday cut off point. Muhamed Besic (hamstring) faces another fortnight out whilst Kevin Mirallas (tendon) misses out. Tim Howard is touch and go as he recovers from a knee injury. Tony Hibbert remains a long term absentee.
Flying winger and new signing Andros Townsend looks set to make his debut whilst Seydou Doubia may also feature if he gets his visa in time. This game may come too soon for Jack Colback (hamstring) but Paul Dummett (also hamstring) is expected to be available. Vurnon Anita (you guessed it…hamstring) is not expected to be have sufficiently recovered whilst Gabriel Obertan (yes…hamstring again) is not back until March – but he can expect to play little part in the remainder of this season provided this hamstring ‘coincidence’ does not become an epidemic…Tim Krul and Massaido Haidara (both knee) remain long term absentee’s along with Curtis Good.
Shamrock’s Blasts from the Past:
Just a little reminder of some of the players that have worn both the Toffee’s and Magpies’ shirts in previous years then; Sylvain Distin, Allesandro Pistone, Dan Gosling, Duncan Ferguson, Steve Watson, Peter Beardsley, Paul Gascoigne, the late Gary Speed, David Ginola and finally Paul Bracewell. So there you go – some cracking players and mutually appreciated legends – some not so much!
An important game for us then, but an extremely difficult one.
Officiating this one will be 36-year-old Craig Pawson, who first officiated a Premier League game between Swansea and our very own Toon. The result? 1-0 to Swansea, who would beat us in the same fixture later that year by 3 goals to Nil with none other than a certain Mr Shelvey scoring! Pawson has officiated 6 Newcastle games since the beginning of the 2012/2013 season – with the Magpies registering 2 wins.
Everton V Newcastle United
19:45 3rd February 2016