Everton (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

 Everton away – a fixture we’ve tended to struggle in over the last 10 years, but we’re coming into this one with a very different outlook.

 We’ve won four on the spin and have all the momentum, where as the majority Blues on Merseyside just want this season to be over with, with Big Sam at war with the club and its disgruntled supporters.
 
To the neutral, this one may seem like a game you’d happily miss (and, in fairness, it could be a tight game given both managers styles), but I can see Allardyce coming out with a siege mentality after ‘survey-gate’ and calls from fans for him to be sacked last weekend.
 
On the flip side, we’ll be gunning to keep the run going and finish as high in the league as possible, knowing that we’d leapfrog Everton into 9th and go level on points with Leicester in 8th if we won.
 
It’s also worth noting that Benitez and Big Sam have a history and don’t see eye to eye. Points and league position aside, it’d just be nice to get on over the gravy guzzler – especially when a win could put him out of ANOTHER job.

Preferred XI

Rafa has tended to pick the same side in recent weeks (and rightly so), but I’d like to see one change made by Rafa tomorrow – a desperate to impress Islam Slimani in for an under confident Dwight Gayle.

As I’ve said just about every week over the last two months, the defence and midfield completely picks itself, but I really would love to see Rafa give Slimani a chance from the start this time.
 
Gayle is a striker woefully short on confidence and Slimani changed the game when he came on last time out against Arsenal. He’s a £29m striker with a point to prove and he could be the difference between a point and all three against Everton tomorrow.
 
Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy –  Slimani.

The Opposition

Here’s a few players to watch out for tomorrow:

Cenk Tosun– The ex-NUFC target took time to settle on Merseyside (mainly down to Allardyce’s baffling reluctance to throw him in), however he’s got 4 goals in 8 Premier League starts and looks the sort of ‘proper striker’ we’d have loved at St James’. He looks a good footballer, a hard worker and a handful. One to watch for Lascelles and Lejeune tomorrow.

Theo Walcott – One of Everton’s top performers since he arrived from Arsenal in January. He’ll drift inside (creating space for Coleman) and look to make runs in behind, being someone who’s a surprisingly calm finisher and very quick.

Seamus Coleman – He may have missed a big chunk of the season after a nasty leg break, but he’s come straight back in at Everton and shown tremendous energy. He’d a terrier and it’ll be interesting to see how Dummett and Kenedy deal with him and Kenedy down their right.

Jordan Pickford – He’s made a few mistakes when I’ve watched him recently, but he’s England’s current number one for a reason. He’s an impressive shot stopper and good with the ball at his feet (watch out for his long kicks!).

Predicted Everton XI – (4-2-3-1) – Pickford – Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Baines – Gueye, Schneiderlin – Walcott, Rooney, Bolasie – Tosun.

For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 10th (41 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 4 / Drawn: 0 / Lost: 1

Everton – 9th (42 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 2 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 1

 

Team news

Christian Atsu seems to be the only senior player unavailable for tomorrow’s game, with Benitez confirming that he’s got a ‘little problem’ with his knee and will miss out of this one.

For Everton, £45m man Gylfi Sigurdsson remains out with a knee injury and  defender Mason Holgate will also miss out with an ankle problem.

 

Match Prediction

Allardyce is the sort of manager who sets his team up not to be beaten and Rafa Benitez teams are often compact and hard to beat, so I’m not expecting too many goals.

The momentum is all with us and it could get ugly for the home side if we score early and pile even more pressure on Big Sam, but I think this could end up a scrappy draw.

After the win over Arsenal, there’s a chance we become complacent (with all involved now knowing we’re safe), but I think it’s more likely that we play with confidence and a little more freedom in a bid to keep the run going, continue our march up the table and secure a top 10 finish.

If we can keep Baines/Bolasie and Coleman/Walcott quiet, win the midfield battle and see Slimani start and make a similar sort of impact then I really fancy us, but my head’s saying draw.

Prediction: Everton 1-1 Newcastle

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

50 thoughts on “Everton (A): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. It is quite funny but I think that every fan of every team except Sunderland and Bolton want to shove it to Sam Allardyce. If he had stayed on as England Manager I think the country would have been United in hatred. It is that overarching arrogance, smugness and never-his-fault-ness,

    As Olly says, if we can start well the Everton fans may get on his back. And I think the players know he is gone at the end of the season. On paper Everton probably have the better team, and should have because they have spent a fortune.

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  2. Allardyce is such a weasel. He is trying to manipulate figures and claim a win that was under David Unsworth as his own when he had not taken training, did not pick the team and was not on the bench. He claims that the win is down to him because he did a meet and greet in the dressing room. It is not really that important but it shows the way he thinks and he is using it to pad his record.

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  3. I fancy us tonight like. I think our form will hold out against an Everton side that have been on the beach for weeks now. They know they are safe and they know Fat Sam won’t be their manager next season – so they have basically switched off.
    Sam has pissed Rooney off and the players will side with Rooney I reckon – it’s not a happy camp and I don’t think that fan survey on the manager and players was sent by accident.

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  4. I think we have a good chance tonight. Feeling confident. Let’s see… 2-1 to the Toon I think.

    Ollie, you still have Bournemouth as the opposition view as others have said… lol

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  5. See we are linked with Josh King again – wouldn’t be disappointed with that one personally, think he’s a very good player and only 26 so best years ahead.
    Also see some wanting Benny to come back – no thanks.

    The biggest signing is Rafa though, and won’t happen until he’s given absolute confirmation he’ll have money to spend – and if he any common sense he’ll want more than just verbal confirmation.

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  6. So the Fatman has put up his asking price. Consistent with Kimtoon and Icedog’s view that he had no intention of selling in the first place and mine that these finance professors the Chronic keep digging up are idiots. Its like a lot of academia, they don’t live in the real world. I had said all along that 350 million was realistic and with a bit of bargaining, that is what it would cost at Ashley’s new stated pricetag. It is Sports Direct after all so the stated price is never the real price.

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  7. Fancy it could be a draw tonight. Although I think with our confidence and the fact that Everton players will know Sam will be toast in the summer I think if any side wins it will be us.

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  8. The opposition view was interesting and it seems they are dwelling on the Fat toad. I went on one of their blogs this morning and there is a lot of bile for him and his arrogance but also his methods. We should be thanking the Telegraph for that Pint-of-Wine sting so we don’t have to listen to his nonsense at the World Cup (at least not from the press box). But probably on Keys and Gray after Everton sack him. He’ll need to work on his tan and Qatar is as good a place as his Spanish Villa.

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  9. Stuart79:
    Fancy it could be a draw tonight. Although I think with our confidence and the fact that Everton players will know Sam will be toast in the summer I think if any side wins it will be us.

    Agree, but going for 2-1 to us anyway. We are NUFC so I have a fear of over-confidence and Merse predicted 2-1 to us so I suppose I am claiming all 3 results as my prediction – could be win, loss or draw 🙂

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  10. The new (old) price is also consistent with what Rafa has been saying in the press. He wants a sit-down with Ashley because I think Rafa has figured out that Ashley is very unlikely to sell.

    Stavely is caught between a rock and a hard place as well because the only alternative PL team – Stoke – look like they are being relegated.

    It has all worked out perfectly for the Fatman, but don’t discount his ability to f it up with Rafa.

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  11. We have to take a look at Slimani to see what we possibly have. Play him 70 minutes and then bring on Gayle. That was Gayle’s role at Palace. If he can accept that role I think he is useful in the PL. We would have to balance a squad player against the money we could get for him though.

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  12. Hopefully our Wayne will be sowing a few seeds of discontent in the dressing room as well. He may look like a Neanderthal but he is not dumb. With a new Manager, I expect him to be in China within 2 transfer windows.

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  13. Watching Sky Sports for the Everton game. 20 mins to kick off and I’m listening to Henry talk about Arsenal in 2001.

    Why?

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  14. Very nervy first half and what a chance for Perez and Slim when Pickford messed up his kick… we may regret that chance.

    Not great so far and toffees look dangerous on the break. Hoping for a better second half.

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  15. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a game where both teams final ball was so bad. Definitely we’ll be the happier as the away team but we’ve been in some good positions with that final ball. Slimani looks like a decent player to me.

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  16. We have been too rushed in the final third. Perez and Yedlin not lookin up before passing or crossing. Diame a little all very the place. Slimani has not been very good in my opinion.

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  17. Shamrock:
    We have been too rushed in the final third. Perez and Yedlin not lookin up before passing or crossing. Diame a little all very the place. Slimani has not been very good in my opinion.

    just been saying those exact things Sham, so frustrating. We are off the pace and letting far too many passes go astray .

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  18. Ref was giving us nothing.. crap game, crap result… even more pissed off since it was Fat Sam and the Mackem in goal. We just played ****. I knew we would regret those missed chances. ???☹️☹️☹️

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  19. We should’ve had a pen (surprise surprise we didn’t get it) and Keane should’ve seen red.

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  20. I thought it was dead even and we had a straightforward penalty, and Joselu wasn’t on the pitch to miss it 🙂

    We just have to accept we never get penalties and players are never sent off against us. That Keane one was an easy call.

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  21. There was also that yellow that wasn’t given when Schneidelin pulled a player back. They are always given. But not for us.

    I am sure there were instances where maybe we got the benefit of the doubt but I can’t think of any.

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