Newcastle v Everton: another game Toffees should win

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Richarlison of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on December 5, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Richarlison of Everton celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on December 5, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images) /
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As the hype and fallout from the Merseyside derby begins to fade, attention now turns to the next game for Everton and a trip to the Northeast for a match against Newcastle United.

Everton face Newcastle on Saturday afternoon with a real chance to successfully build on the momentum and positive feeling generated by the win at Cardiff two weeks ago and that derby performance.

After those games, Marco Silva has given himself some real breathing space now and commentators like myself who were thinking we needed a change of manager have had to re-consider.

Perhaps he can steady the Everton ship and develop something really good going forward in the longer term?

The players and Silva certainly seem to have responded to the criticism levelled at them after a very poor run of form before and after the New Year.

Silva changed the team bringing back almost forgotten faces like Morgan Schneiderlin and Phil Jagielka. And this together with the long break the Blues had prior to the trip to Cardiff, seems to have rejuvenated them.

So now the challenge is can they maintain that focus and effort for the remainder of this current season.

First up comes a trip to the Northeast of England to play Newcastle United. Everton are in fact unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Magpies. And they have a very good record overall at St James Park.

So the omens are largely positive for Saturday’s game. However this type of game and opponent is exactly the kind that the Blues have made a nasty habit of stumbling to defeat against in this campaign.

Newcastle have had a struggle themselves this season, not unexpectedly. But their recent form has been decent although after two consecutive wins they slumped to defeat against West Ham last time out.

Despite some heavy defeats, especially early on in the season, in fact the Magpies have a slightly better defensive record than the Toffees.

That’s partly because they have been largely set up to defend and avoid defeat under Rafa Benitez. Unsurprisingly given that approach and their overall lack of attacking quality, they haven’t scored many goals.

With this attitude from the home side and the fact Everton also haven’t generally been high scorers away, (apart from that freakish win at Burnley), it’s probably unlikely it will be an entertaining game or that there will be a lot of goals in this match.

As for the team Silva picks, I guess he will probably stick with the side that played Liverpool on Sunday. Again that seems fine although I would go with Ademola Lookman and also bring Richarlison back to start.

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Newcastle have similar weaknesses to the Blues. They are poor defending set-pieces and they also concede quite a lot of free kicks too.

This will probably be a scrappy game and the Toffees will likely have to battle early on to get control of this match and then hopefully they can impose their superior quality on it.

An early goal too would force Newcastle to be a bit more adventurous and that will open up the game to Everton’s advantage.

In all then this is another game on the road that Everton really should be capable of winning. Let’s hope for a strong showing from the Blues and three points that would lift them into the top half of the table.