Everton v Newcastle United

With just four more games left in a season from hell, it appears the Blues are already on the beach after last weekend’s 1-1 draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Everton’s shooting boots have truly gone AWOL. After firing blanks against Liverpool, Evertonians demanded a better showing in front of goal against Swansea.

But it was down to Swans’ right back Kyle Naughton to be Everton’s goal scoring hero with little threat coming from elsewhere.

In light of Everton’s stuttering form, Newcastle come to Goodison Park on a hot streak, Rafa Benitez has led the Magpies to four straight victories, banishing any relegation worries.

The former Liverpool chief has his troops playing some excellent football, epitomised by last weekend’s comeback against Arsenal at St. James’ Park when strikes from Ayoze Perez and Matt Richie condemned the Gunners to defeat.

The north east outfit find themselves a point behind the home side prior to kick off, but Newcastle also have a game in hand over the Toffees.

Due to Newcastle’s superior goal difference, a draw would be enough to see them leapfrog Everton in the table.

Three points in the direction of Everton would see them move up to eighth in the division after Leicester’s draw on Thursday night, but the Foxes will also have a game in hand on the Toffees following the conclusion of Monday’s action.

A victory would also complete only Everton’s second double over a side this campaign, after Stoke City became the first last month.

Recent history in the fixture is in Everton’s favour, with the Blues winning the last four battles. Historians will have to look back to 2014 for the Magpies’ last win against the Toffees.

One to watch 

The man who got Newcastle’s equaliser against Arsenal last time out, Ayoze Perez.

The Spanish attacker is his team’s top scorer this term with just seven goals, but he has come into form at a crucial time. Three of those seven have come in his last three outings.

The 24-year-old will fancy his chances after witnessing the defending, or lack of, that took place in the build up to Jordan Ayew’s goal at Swansea last weekend.

Team news 

The home side are without long term absentees James McCarthy, Eliaquim Mangala, Maarten Stekelenburg and Mason Holgate. Gylfi Sigurdsson is progressing well but will not be fit for this one.

Newcastle have a full squad of players to pick from.

Man in the middle –

Bobby Madley will take charge of proceedings. In 34 games across a mammoth 11 competitions he has refereed this season, Madley has distributed 114 yellow cards and five reds.

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