Monday night’s game sees Newcastle travel to Merseyside for a 8pm kick-off. A win here would leapfrog 8th place Everton who in turn want to jump into the top four. The home team are in impressive form and hence many neutrals see this fixture as Everton’s to lose. The match is live on Sky Sports and a plethora of non-terrestrial providers.
Form and Fans
Everton DDDWW – Newcastle LDWWL
Everton wish to remain the Premier League’s only unbeaten side. New manager Roberto Martinez has brought his passing style to the club, as opposed to the more direct approach of predecessor Moyes. So far the results have been sporadic, Everton’s possession ratio has markedly increased (twelve percent in the first three games), however in early games against Cardiff & West Brom they couldn’t turn this domination into goals. However, wins against Chelsea and West Ham have shown more promise.
Standing out amongst this new regime has been young Ross Barkley. In the absence of recently departed Fellani, Barkley has impressed in a new number 10 role. Chelsea loanee Lukaku looks to be continuing the great form he showed last season at West Brom. Positive words have also been uttered about new signing Gareth Barry, however personal dislike means I can’t bring myself to compliment him.
There does seem to be some ill will towards our club, as evidenced here and in our pre-match opposition thoughts post. Clumsy-at-best comments by Pardew have not endeared him to the Evertonians. There appears to be some isolated lingering dislike from our first time under Keegan. An impression is abound of Geordies looking down on Everton in a way that was inappropriate. Of course, this is another case of the (perceived) actions of a minority of our fans being extended to apply all of us. Everyone from Newcastle must be the same as what is seen on Sky Sports News!
As a Merseyside based Mag, it must be said that most blue noses on the street are the opposite of this and can be quite genial towards us. Indeed if we were to label all Evertonians as bitter we would be doing the same broad strokes generalisation.
Back to the game, Everton will line up 4-2-3-1 with two more defensive midfielders sitting ahead of the back four. Both full backs have the ability and their manager’s blessing to push forward. Baines deservedly gets plaudits for his ability to set up goals but Coleman is also dangerous. This will free the two wide midfielders to drift inwards and support the lone front man.
Coleman – Jagielka – Distin – Baines
McCarthy – Barry
Naismith – Barkley – Mirallas
As for Newcastle; only Jonás, Shola and the Taylors are first team absentees. The cup tie against Leeds midweek was a useful exercise to regain some confidence after a terrible game against Hull. It also let the manager view some of our fringe players. Youngsters Dummett and Ameobi put in very good performances impressing Pardew, who has intimated they are pushing for places. The same cannot be said for Messrs Obertan and Gosling. The former spoiled some decent opportunities lacking composure and the latter didn’t do enough to warrant an appearance at his old club.
Some, myself included, would prefer Remy moving to the centre, Ameobi out wide and resting the below par Cissé. However, I suspect the line-up will be the same as started against Hull, barring a frustratingly swap of Tioté for Anita.
“Everton have always been a difficult side to beat, especially at Goodison. It’s a tough place to go. We got a 2-2 there last year and we really had to work hard to get that. They’re unbeaten in the league, and, though they lost in the cup, they’re in good shape.
“With the change in manager, their style of play is a bit different. Their retention of the ball will probably be greater under Roberto (Martinez, their new manager). Roberto has signed some good players and you would have to say it looks like a stronger squad than David (Moyes) had last year. The chairman there has done his bit and I think they look as if they could be the surprise package of the season.
“But what we have shown is that we have a real offensive look about us. Now it’s about making sure we are tight enough to cope with that. We weren’t against Hull, but in our previous three or four games we had been, and that’s important if we are going to have a more offensive look about us. We’ve got to make sure the back door is shut. It was against Leeds and to keep another clean sheet was a good thing.”
“Cabaye, Ben Arfa and (Moussa) Sissoko are rested and ready to go. They are a given when fit, those guys. Shola has a chance for Monday. Jonás is getting close but I do not know for Everton, maybe the week after for use. We are pretty healthy and hopefully that continues.”
Martinez on Everton’s unbeaten run:
“It is a fantastic label to have but it is something we will have to work really hard to extend. It is a beautiful label to have but in September you don’t win anything. What we need to do is work harder because it is only beautiful if you can keep it until May because otherwise one day it will become a negative.”
Trains between Manchester Airport and Manchester Piccadilly are currently suffering rail replacement buses. No other road or rail disruptions are expected.
Liverpool is Britain’s safest city and has friendly locals so is a good place for home fans. However, like all cities it has some not so great areas. Evertonians hopefully wouldn’t mind me saying that Stanley Park is one of those. Street parking is not a great idea, unless a local teenager is paid to look after your car. If fans are planning on going on the sauce after, get yourselves to town hastily and you will get a warm welcome. The Matthew Street area is the most raucous/infamous, with Concert Square/Bold Street attracting the younger student crows. Either way, one might struggle getting in places in a football top.
2 – 1 To Everton and a week of me finding blue noses wherever I go.
How do you think NUFC will do against Everton? Or just looking for somewhere to discuss the match before, during and afterwards? Have your say in our match discussion thread here.