The only unbeaten side in the Premier League welcome Newcastle United to Goodison Park on Monday night
Odds: Everton 11/17, Draw 3/1, Newcastle 11/2
Last season 2-2
Everton remain the only unbeaten side in the division having won their last two games and drawing the other three, but they were knocked out of the League Cup in the week by Fulham. Newcastle will have been disappointed to lose some momentum at home to Hull having their previous two before that but bounced back to beat Leeds in the League Cup.
Everton currently have nine points whilst their opponents are currently two adrift of them on seven, but both have shown signs of late that they’re capable of causing problems for opposition defences.
Leon Osman is out for Everton but they could welcome back Arouna Kone and Steven Pienaar from injury. Yohan Cabaye is highly likely to miss out for Newcastle through injury but Jonas Gutierrez could be considered for selection for the first time since their opening weekend loss to Manchester City.
Here is a look at five players who may be under the spotlight on Monday night.
It is his home debut for Everton, so the man on loan from Chelsea will want to pick up from where he left off after scoring the winner against West Ham at Upton Park last Saturday.
Baines scored in both league fixtures against Newcastle last season, and was in very good form with a dead ball last week at West Ham. Can he carry that form into this fixture?
Newcastle’s only signing of the summer managed to find his scoring boots last Saturday against Hull by bagging a brace. With a player full of talent and confidence, the Everton back four could have a big job on their hands trying to contain him.
Cisse finally ended a long goal drought in the week by scoring against Leeds United in the League, a drought that lasted 11 games. Can he now kick on and reproduce the sort of form we saw when he first arrived on Tyneside.
There is a chance of Pienaar returning to the Everton side this weekend, and it will be interesting to see with the new personnel that Roberto Martinez’s side has in midfield, how he would be played. Could he be played in the role usually occupied by Leon Osman?
Last time they met
Newcastle 1-2 Everton January 2013
Papiss Cisse opened the scoring within two minutes before James Perch hit the post as Newcastle looked to double their lead. But shortly before half-time, Leighton Baines rifled home a stunning free-kick to bring Everton on level terms going into the interval. On the hour mark, Victor Anichebe gave Everton the lead 90 seconds after being thrown into the action which ultimately proved decisive as the toffees’ challenge for the Champions League still looked a real possibility.
image: © wonker