Newcastle perspective: Mark Jensen, The Mag
It remains to be seen what happens with Demba Ba but elsewhere it is looking slightly brighter with Mike Williamson back from suspension and Vurnon Anita likely to be back from injury but Danny Simpson's broen toe is a blow, at least in the short term. The returns will strengthen the side but it will be too early for imminent signing Mathieu Debuchy to make his debut.
After a must needed three points against Queens Park Rangers, Newcastle have scored goals (6) for fun at Old Trafford and the Emirates. Unfortunately, eleven have gone in our net at the other end. Expect a more cautious approach against Everton.
While visits to Goodison have generally been tough for the squad, only one defeat in the last eleven home encounters has seen Newcastle with the upper hand. Last season’s corresponding game finished with a narrow, 2-1 victory to the Magpies.
A Newcastle win at 3.05 – must be seen as value for a home win.
Papiss Cisse to score first at 7.25 – with Demba Ba likely to be rested, Cisse looks set to play as our main attacking focus.
Vurnon Anita to score any time at 10.50 – Anita is likely to play in a far more advanced role in this game.
Score Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Everton (11.50)
Everton Perspective: Brian Lewis, Royal Blue Mersey.
Marouane Fellaini returns to Everton after his 3 match ban to help alleviate David Moyes’ concerns in the midfield. Darron Gibson and Kevin Mirallas both look set to miss out as the holiday period comes to a close in the BPL. After last weekend’s loss at home to Chelsea, pressure will be on Everton to earn an extremely winnable 3 points.
Despite suffering their first loss at home since March 2012, Everton still look to be in good form. The return of Fellaini can only help a side that earned 6 out of 9 points around Christmas. The only real concern is the lack of form that seems to be plaguing Nikica Jelavic. He has had several easy opportunities go awry and couldn’t buy a goal at this point.
Everton crushed Newcastle 3-1 to end the previous season, and should have had another 3 points in this campaign. Unfortunately the lack of goal-line technology denied them all 3 points, and instead they had to settle for a 2-2 draw. This match is likely to play out in a similar high-scoring fashion as both defences are suspect.
Marouane Fellaini to score anytime at 3.20 – always dangerous and will be fresh after his ban.
Steven Pienaar to score anytime at 6.00 – the South African is in excellent form right now
Over 3.5 goals at 2.90 – both defences are vulnerable
Score Prediction: Newcastle 1-3 Everton (18.00)