Everton up against tough Newcastle United test on Thursday night

Following victory at Forest last Saturday afternoon, Everton next host high-flying Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Thursday night.
Everton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League
Everton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League / Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Blues boss Sean Dyche has a few selection headaches as he contemplates picking a side for the visit of the Magpies in 48 hours time.

Hopefully, his first-choice centre-forward Dominic Cavlert-Lewin will be available, assuming he has sufficently recovered from the calf muscle injury that kept him out of the team that beat Forest.

Dyche will though almost certainly be without Amadou Onana as the Belgian midfielder is still a little way off from a return to full fitness.

But while team selection issues are a concern, more importantly is whether the manager can find a way to instill the same level of performance and focus at Goodison Park that his sides have shown on the road.

The Blues have built up an increasingly impressive record on their travels under the former Burnley manager and the win at the City Ground represented the fourth such victory away from home in the Premier League so far this campaign.

However, they haven't been able to replicate that level of performance at the Grand Old Lady this season with just the one solitary league win against Bournemouth back on the 7th of October.

I don't know exctly how Dyche can translate that away form to home matches, particularly given how his Toffees' teams are set up to operate tactically.

One thing that seems clear is that Everton must try to be more on the front foot at home and look to establish some tempo and attacking momentum early on. Easier said than done though.

Newcastle are enjoying another strong campaign under Eddie Howe and after a slightly inconstent start to the season have now won four of their last five Premier League games.

Last weekend's 1-0 win over Manchester United underlined once again the progress the Magpies have made under the former Bournemouth manager.

Ex-Everton youngster Anthony Gordon scored that goal and has settled well on Tyneside since his £45 million move in January. Let's just hope he doesn't add to his six strikes so far this season on Thursday.

Newcastle's biggest strength is the defence and they have the joint second-best defensive record in the League.

With that and the fact the Toffees have only managed five goals at home all season long, a high-scoring encounter is perhaps not too likely.

So, can the Blues take their terrific away form and renewed momentum back to Merseyside? I think they have to if the team is to pull away safely enough from the relegation zone after the points deduction. Thursday would be a good time to start.