Four games, three wins, one draw and just the one goal conceded since Sam Allardyce stepped foot in L4, the former England boss couldn’t have wished for such an impressive start.
Little by little it seems Allardyce is winning over those who were previously opposed to his appointment. Early days, of course, there is a hell of a lot of football still to be played but the impact he has had on the squad already looks monumental.
Big Sam takes his troops to St. James’ Park to face Newcastle United, a club he managed from 2007 until 2008. Everton finally picked up their first away win since January in any competition in last Thursday’s dead-rubber against Apollon Limassol, but are still on the lookout for a first three Premier League points on the road since that 1-0 win against Allardyce’s Crystal Palace outfit.
The Magpies are currently sitting 16th in the division and with zero wins from their last seven outings it is looking bleak for Rafa Benitez’s side.
Everton’s last trip to Newcastle was one to savour, a late, late Tom Cleverley header sealed the victory for the Blues on Boxing Day of 2015.
One to watch
Dwight Gayle is Newcastle’s joint top scorer this campaign alongside Spanish striker Joselu on a measly three strikes, but it what the Englishman produced last term in the Championship that proves his threat, he managed 23 goals in 34 appearances. His pace and movement is what can prove sticky for the Toffees’ defence so Gayle is definitely one that needs special attention if he is selected on Wednesday evening.
Paul Dummett is the hosts’ only injury worry for the clash, with the defender suffering from a thigh strain, it is thought that Newcastle will have everyone else at their disposal.
Everton will have the same squad as the one that got a point at Anfield on Sunday, despite Yannick Bolasie coming off the bench for the under 23’s on Monday it’ll be a few weeks before he’s ready for first team action after such a long spell on the side-line.
Man in the middle –
Martin Atkinson will officiate proceedings, a man who Evertonians still haven’t forgiven for dismissing Jack Rodwell in the Merseyside derby six years ago.
Unless it is an emphatic Everton victory that drastically improves a dreadful goal difference then three points are more than likely to leave the visitors sitting 10th pushing Newcastle closer to the dreaded drop zone in the meantime.