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

With all the takeover news and gossip that’s emerged since Mike Ashley’s intriguing interview with Sky on Monday night, it’d be easy to forget that we actually have a game tonight.

Rafa admitted just yesterday that takeover talk IS a distraction, and since then the rumours have only intensified, with it emerging that Peter Kenyon is now the ‘clear front-runner’ to seal a takeover.

Back to the task in hand though, and tonight sees us take on a very dangerous Everton side – who could play like a wounded animal after their late Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool on Sunday.

Who knows how they’ll react, but a good friend of mine (who’s a big Everton fan) is fully expecting them to be at it from the off under the lights at Goodison – and that won’t bode well for us if we can’t be MUCH better than we were against West Han.

Preferred XI

As ever, here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with:


It’s highly unlikely that Rafa goes for this, but it could make sense on several fronts.

Firstly, it would offer routes back into the side fo Shelvey and Lascelles – two players who are likely to return regardless of the formation we play given rotation is essential at this time of year.

Then, with Ritchie ruled out through suspension and Dummett out again through injury, it makes a lot of sense to put Kenedy in at left-wing back for me. He’s played in this role on countless occasions for Chelsea, with a return to a five/three at the back system seeming to make sense given A) how it worked so well in our last away game at Burnley and B) the fact it accommodates the return of Lascelles, with us having plenty of good options to play three centre-backs.

The above system means our width can only come from our wing-backs, but with Ritchie out and Murphy/Atsu doing little to justify a start, this could be our best bet.

That said, the below side is probably the most realistic with rotation, injuries and Rafa’s preferred formation in mind.

Predicted NUFC team – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Clark – Atsu, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy – Muto- Rondon. 


The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in this West Ham side:

Andre Gomes: The Barcelona loanee looks an absolute class act. The tall Portuguese international is a Rolls-Royce of a midfielder and a elegant operator who can pick a pass and dribble past his man with ease. Everton fans love him – and it’s easy to see why.

Richarlison: The Brazilian will more than likely play in a centre-forward role once again, and will give our centre-backs a real tough test. He’s got it all and will be ruthless if we show him too much respect.

Yeri Mina: The 6ft 6′ Colombian is an absolute giant at the back. He will be a big presence for them in both boxes, with Salomon Rondon facing a toughest task against him in what promises to be some physical battle.

Ademola Lookman: I’ve missed out Sigurdsson – a top class technician an obvious threat – as Everton youngster Lookman is being tipped to start down their right. He’s direct, full of pace and has an eye for goal, so whoever fills in for us at left-back will have to have their wits about them tonight.

Predicted Everton XI  (4-2-3-1) – Pickford – Coleman, Keane, Mina, Digne – Gueye, Gomes – Lookman, Sigurdsson, Bernard – Richarlison. 

Team news

Matt Ritchie is suspended after picking up his 5th yellow over the weekend and Paul Dummett has been ruled out once again with a hamstring injury.

Jonjo ShelveyJamaal Lascelles and Yoshinori Muto could return to the side, but Isaac Hayden and Karl Darlow have been ruled out by Rafa.

Ademola Lookman is in contention to start, but Morgan Schneiderlin could miss out again through injury.


Match Prediction

For free Newcastle live streams, click here ahead of tonight’s 7.45pm kick off.

I fear for us in this one if I’m being honest.

Everton were VERY good at Anfield on Sunday and have been at it for a few months now, with several of their summer signings now fully fit and hitting form.

On the flip side, we showed signs of fatigue on Saturday and aren’t blessed with great options to rotate. Who knows how talk of a takeover will affect us – although Rafa suggested just yesterday that it definitely doesn’t help.

I think Everton will come at us hard from the off, looking to put Sunday’s derby defeat behind them, so the key will be surviving an early storm and taking any chances that come our way.

I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve not got a good feeling about tonight..

Prediction: Everton 3-1 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.

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

  1. George Caulkin‏Verified account @CaulkinTheTimes · 2m2 minutes ago

     More

    I am 100% with you on the scepticism scale. I always am with Ashley. The Kenyon bid/story is accurate – I’ve had it confirmed from all angles – although, as we saw a year ago, that offers no guarantees at all.

    On the match, Olly I’m with you, not an easy game tonight and I would be happy with a draw .
    They did look good on sunday but it was a derby and every team raises their game in a derby so not always a true reflection but yes they are good.


  2. Stuart79:
    Wolves boycott now to be cancelled apparently. Jabba will be thinking it’s easy…

    After 2 disasters – Shirebrook protest, 11th minute walkin – Magpie Group say “I never fancied her anyway”.


  3. I really hope that it is Kenyon. He must see that he would be starting with a blank slate because we have very low wages and almost no commercial deals. The squad is OK and worth more than we paid for it and with a couple of tweaks I think we would be safe.

    He could set about developing the NUFC “brand”. I sort of hate that word.

    The next 10 years are going to be about content for the big US tech companies (they have gone about as far as they can go as far as market penetration and now have to deliver for their current users) and NUFC could offer an opportunity because there are taints on the current big 6.


  4. Taints on the Big 6:

    Man U: Tapped out commercially with deals for official tractors and noodles.

    Arsenal: Russians

    Chelsea: Russian Oligarch

    Man City: Middle East murderers

    Liverpool: too much meddling from another Hedge Fund – Fenway Sports Group.

    Spurs: a 1 billion pound anvil around their neck stadium to pay for.


  5. OK, I’ll get back to reality 🙂

    I agree with Olly that tonight looks to be a tough game on paper. However, this is NUFC and they tend to do the opposite to what you think. So a 2-2 draw.


  6. This may sound naïve but I still think we will spend about 30 million in January whether there is a takeover completed by then or not. We must have the money in the bank and I believe that another tranche of PL TV money comes in then. As Rafa said himself, if he leaves he doesn’t take the players with him.

    Ensuring survival is key to any deal and it is not like if we spend 25 million on Almiron that he would be worth nothing in the summer.

    The wheels are in motion and several parties were given permission to look at the books. Kenyon has even been allowed to look at the forward revenue projections.

    I see people saying that the deal could not possibly be done by January because the league have to look at it and contracts need to be signed. Maybe not formally, but everybody knows the league process is just a rubber stamp. They let dodgy Thai and Chinese “businessmen” take over Everton and Villa, and don’t talk to me about Abramovich.

    The main thing is Fatty signing off and not the league. If he gives the OK then any new owner could work with Rafa behind the scenes before formal approval.

    AND, since Ashley is letting them look at the full books they will know exactly how much Rafa could spend.


  7. People just don’t apply any logic to the process. I am seeing, Oh, it is Christmas and Scudamore is leaving and it takes 14 days for approval anyway. It can’t possibly be done. YES IT CAN. Because none of that matters. What matters is Ashley agreeing to the deal and the rest is a rubber stamp.

    I don’t know if Ashley will agree to anything but I do know that the Journos and fan groups citing the above as road blocks is just stuff and nonsense.


  8. As far as I know absolutely no one is denying these rumours and it was Ashley that started them flying. My bet would be on Kenyon who openly said he wants to run a club and was recently at SJP. It must help that he also knows Ashley well.

    Tonight? I don’t have one positive thought. Muto to replace Ritchie maybe? 3 at the back?


  9. I think NUFC are a bargain at the price being quoted.

    Seattle have announced a new Ice Hockey team and the investors have to pay the league $650 million to start it up. Then they have to set up the infrastructure, get the players etc. In addition, the city are spending $750 million to renovate the arena. This is for the 4th most popular sport in the US that has diehard fans but not much general appeal. If you have ever watched hockey you would know why – it is a lot of swishing of sticks and fights but you can never see where the puck is.

    300 million pounds for a team with global appeal and also globally televised is nothing. Especially with the hype of the North American (US really) World Cup coming up.


  10. We should still treat all this with caution, I don’t trust that **** to do anything good for the club or us fans.
    Still calling BS.


  11. Olly: who was really going to boycott the Wolves game anyway? Judging by the total failures of their last protests it would probably be the organisers and their pet rabbits. And I doubt anybody burned their tickets so anybody on the fence, as you say, can still go.

    My guess is there will be a few thousand no-shows anyway because of Christmas commitments (shopping).


  12. Kimtoon: I have a suspicion that Fatty took about 50-75 million out of NUFC to pay back the loans to him. It is purely based on the numbers being talked about. 3 months ago The Chronic were saying his price was 375-400 million, now it is 300 million.

    Either, he realizes we are in danger of relegation and reduced the price (unlikely as he has set up the squad and wages for possible relegation).

    Or, he has taken some money back.

    Or, maybe, and this is more likely, the Chronic know nothing about the price being asked, especially since Chris “the intern” Waugh is their financial guru.


  13. The Chronic actually referred to Chris Waugh as “Waughy” today. So here are their real names:

    Chris “the intern” Waugh

    Stuart “I thought I was the intern” Jamieson


    John “I haven’t changed my hairstyle since 1974” Gibbo Gibson

    Micky “Legend” Quinny

    Lee “where is that template I use to write all of my columns? You know the one that Alan Oliver gave me 30 years ago and I have used ever since, every day, without fail, with monotonous contempt for the intelligence of readers” Ryder. Yes, Barman, mine’s a pint of Carlsberg with a vodka chaser but let me finish this e-mail to the Chronic first.


  14. On tonight we will get jack diddly. Maybe even less.

    On a new buyer, I agree we have the most untapped potential of any club in the country and possible even Europe. That’s a big carrot for any ambition and wealthy people.


  15. Hey there Stuart Jamieson, young intern to the intern you, have a seat on the barstool next to me. Let me tell you the secrets to my success. Sit down next your Uncle Lee and get yerself a pint and strap yerself in, and I’ll have a Carlsberg and a vodka chaser. Make that a double since this is on Chronicle expenses:

    * never write more than 275 words

    * never have any direct quotes

    * never actually talk to anybody at NUFC

    * pre-seasons are for sun tans, hotel bars and playing away, if you know what I mean

    * never do any research

    * if you are short for an article, google last month’s Chronic and cut and paste with a different title. That’ll be good for few internet clicks.

    * make sure Olly and the other internet blogmeisters never put your name in the title of their own article because nobody will ever read it if they do.


  16. I’ll believe all this takeover talk when I see a new gadgie holding up his bnw shirt. It does seem a little more likely this time but still I remain sceptical.

    Re the match, I think it may be tight and I’m going for 1-0 to the Toffees. Although I do hope to be wrong.


  17. I know everybody thinks George Caulkin is THE “reliable journalist” but I am not sure what he is saying about a deal taking 6-8 weeks to complete. It is December 5th so we have about a month left before making signings.

    Ashley could agree a deal in principle and just wait for the rubber stamp. He could even release funds from the NUFC account – we know they are there!

    As I have said before, and more importantly Rafa has said, that if we buy a player they just don’t disappear or suddenly become worthless.

    I don’t trust the Fat Man but I think people are just putting roadblocks in the way to say “I told you so” this time.

    I could be wrong, but I said the Uruguayan Hobbit would be the summer’s best buy so trust me 🙂


  18. Gibbo is going senile, by the way. I won’t get into details because I base this only on what he writes, but he only ever talks about the past and mis-uses phrases in a very odd way now. I could give examples but I won’t. He used to be OK for The Chronic, now he is not.


  19. So team news out and looks like wing backs and back 3. No Perez ?. Murphy starts and so does Atsu and Manquillo…☹️


  20. Dubai Toon:
    So team news out and looks like wing backs and back 3. No Perez . Murphy starts and so does Atsu and Manquillo…

    can’t anything but a loss sadly


  21. Stuart79:
    Eric, Apparently Almiron is a done deal according to sources in the US. What is Ashley playing at?!!!

    5live saying players will be bought with Ashley reimbursed by new owners


  22. Gutted by that equaliser. Giving away too many corners and set plays. 1-1 probably fair result first half. Great cross in from Murphy for Rondon’s goal… we may just get something out of this.


  23. Almiron loan with option to buy makes sense because MLS will not be playing. Not sure if true as it sounds such a good deal for NUFC.


  24. Just to go back to any NUFC takeover being delayed by the league. They would have passed Muammar Gaddafi or Imelda Marcos ‘fit and proper”. That is a joke so if it is agreed by the 2 parties, it is done whatever the Journos say whether they are “reliable” or not.


  25. I just can’t believe that from Spurs fans. I know they are playing in a different part of the city and got beat by Arsenal. But… seriously, 33k. They beat Chelsea and Inter before the Arsenal game. They have Kane and Son.


  26. I’ll take that point. A fair result I think in the end and we could’ve nicked it at the end. Atsu’s attempts were Perez-esque. Perez rubbish, and Hoss…? Did he even touch the ball?


  27. Well that was pretty one side like, but that’s a really good away point against a very good Everton side.

    Mr Martin Dubravka is one hell of a good goalkeeper!!!!


  28. Great point. Ask there’s already a big gap now between West Ham in 13th and us in 14th. I think it’s obvious that it will be 3 from 7.

    Not happy with wolves winning like. That gives them their confidence right back.


  29. Stuart79:
    Great point. Ask there’s already a big gap now between West Ham in 13th and us in 14th. I think it’s obvious that it will be 3 from 7.

    Not happy with wolves winning like. That gives them their confidence right back.

    was just thinking that Stu


  30. Sharpy17:
    Well that was pretty one side like, but that’s a really good away point against a very good Everton side.

    Mr Martin Dubravka is one hell of a good goalkeeper!!!!

    Isn’t he just mate


  31. Stu – I was more worried about that WH defeat setting us back mate, and tonight was a one I could have easily seen us loose regardless of the WH game.
    There could defo be points in the next 3 games – though not easy ones by any means.


  32. While I’m posting, I will also say, credit to Rafa for changing it back to 3 CBs – even Manquillo looked half decent at times … though even that wasn’t enough to make Atsu look good ?.
    Nah, all the lads put a shift in tonight and worked hard for that point – credit to all.


  33. When I starting following NUFC big John ‘Budgie’ Burrows was a favourite coz of his antics. Then there was Pav and Shaka, but it’s been pretty quiet on the keeper front since then. Shay was getting there but buggered off, but Dubravka has me loving keepers again ??


  34. These expensive goalies are doing really crap. Chelsea’s cost like 70 million and missed the easiest save ever. Lloris on the weeked and De Gea tonight let in easy saves. Same with Liverpool.


  35. I’m a big fan of this 3 CBs formation as well. We’d still need a LB or LWB, but it’s a formation I could see Almiron slotting into with relative easy – and the rest of our current squad can adapt to easily.


  36. Top of the (mini) league, we’re top of the (mini) league, NUFC we’re top of the (mini) league. We’re top of the bottom 7.


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