Newcastle v Everton, TOTT Preview
Always a great battle, Newcastle entertain Everton, with the home team looking for only their 2nd win in 9 matches and the 2nd home win in 6 attempts since the stuffing of Merseyside rivals, Liverpool.
This is the 4th consecutive week that the Toon take on a relatively mid table team where the right result could change league positions. Such is the tightness of the table where lower teams and top teams have tended to perform well, with the mid tanking sides performing modestly.
Pardew goes in to this match on the back of promises to strengthen the squad in the summer. Promises are rife on Tyneside, with delivery weak. The striker who would not be sold has been sold, with young players out on loan and 3 of the last 4 signings have been injured.
With a threadbare squad, Harper will continue in goal, the back 5 being something of a salvation, relatively speaking. Coloccini`s experience will be valued in the heart of defence, with Williamson doing nothing to be dropped. Enrique maintains his best form of the last 2 years on the left with Sreve Taylor hoping to continue where he left off in his cameo last week on the right, allowing Simpson to move forward if the occasion demands.
It is the right side of midfield that looks weak, Barton a non-starter last week with Simpson ending up in the wide right position. Joey may or may not recover from injury, with similarly outspoken Ireland also dubious for that slot. Ryan Taylor is of course suspended, meaning that the natural Evertonians in the Newcastle ranks could miss out totally.
It could be that Jonas switches flanks allowing the young Ferguson a full home Premier League debut on the left. Tiote will be the holding stalwart with Liverpool supporter Nolan aching to follow up last week`s goal against his old side, Bolton.
Good news comes up front, with Ameobi now challenging the man who has his best streak at Coventry in a Sholaesque mask, Leon. Peter lovenkrands will also hope to continue having himself got on the score sheet 11 days ago and seemingly match sharp.
Moyes has his own injury concerns for Everton. However, defensively the team looks strong with veteran Phil Neville a probability on the right, Baines poised for his 150th start on the left and Jagielka joining the former Newcastle player, Distin in the middle.
Young starlet Coleman can play either at right back or show his adventurous side going forward, Arteta always capable of showing his creative side. Osman looks set for a central partnership with Rodwell in the absence of the wig, better known as Fellaini.
uP front there is plenty of interest for the home supporters. Beckford has scored 4 in his last 5 starts having turned down the Toon last season. Saha is also a striker in form having been on loan during the long forgotten Gullit era. Thankfully, Cahill is also injured.
Referee for the occasion is one of the scourges of the Toon in the shape of Howard Webb. Of all his matches featuring Newcastle, those against teams from Yorkshire or the North West tend not to result in much joy for the home crowd.
Based on the referee, Everton`s away form which includes 7 draws and the home team`s seeming inability to win recently, except against teams in the bottom 5, a draw looks likely.
Newcastle v Everton at St James
77 W41 D20 L16 F144 A79
16 W10 D4 L2 F30 A15
ewcastle: Harper, Krul, Simpson, Perch, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Campbell, S. Taylor, Tiote, Barton, Nolan, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Ireland, Vuckic, Richardson, Lovenkrands, Best, Ameobi, Ranger, Kuqi.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Rodwell, Osman, Arteta, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Beckford, Gueye, Heitinga, Hibbert, Anichebe, Baxter, Duffy, Mucha.