Everton will hope to snap their four-game losing streak in the Premier League when they lock horns with Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Thursday night.
Games are coming thick and fast in Premier League at the moment as we enter the business end of the campaign. Two sides going in opposite directions in the Premier League relegation battle will face each other on Thursday night, as Everton play hosts to Newcastle United.
The Toffees further plunged into relegation trouble on the weekend as they suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves. This was their fourth Premier League defeat on the bounce. The team remains out of the bottom three for the time being, but with only goal difference separating Frank Lampard’s side and 18th-placed Watford, it only seems a matter of time before Everton slip into the dreaded drop zone.
The only hope for Everton is that they have games in hand over those around them, which could prove to be the difference. The Premier League relegation battle appears to be going down to the wire, and should Lampard’s men put together a few positive results, they can still get out of trouble in no time.
But their task does not get any easier as they go up against an in-form Newcastle United side, who have enjoyed a resurgence under Eddie Howe and have managed to climb up the table in recent weeks. They were on an astonishing nine-game undefeated streak before their momentum took a slight hit at Chelsea on the weekend. However, they were extremely unlucky not to come away with something from the game on the balance of play.
Eddie Howe’s side brushed the Toffees aside 3-1 in the reverse fixture at St. James’ Park last month and will be vying for all three points on Thursday night as they look for an unlikely push for a top-half finish this season.
Team News & Tactics
Frank Lampard says Dominic Calvert-Lewin (illness) will be assessed ahead of #EVENEW following a return to light training.
— Everton (@Everton) March 16, 2022
Tom Davies, Fabian Delph and Yerry Mina will all be absent with their respective injuries. Dominic Calvert-Lewin missed the weekend game against Wolves due to illness, and he is unlikely to face Newcastle this mid-week. Jonjoe Kenny is also suspended for the Newcastle United encounter after being sent off for two quick bookings against Wolves.
Frank Lampard changed Everton’s shape to a 3-4-3 against Wolves on Sunday. But with a lot riding on the Newcastle clash, he may well shift to a 4-3-3 system. Jordan Pickford will continue between the sticks for the hosts despite conceding 12 goals in his last six league outings.
Lampard is expected to field Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane in central defence as they look to keep track of Newcastle’s buzzing wingers in Ryan Fraser and Allan Saint-Maximin and plug any gaps that the Everton full-backs may create. Vitaliy Mykolenko will fill in as the left-back after a decent display against Wolves last time out, while Seamus Coleman will hope to produce a solid display on the right flank.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Donny van de Beek struggled in a double-pivot at the weekend, so bringing Allan back into the fold in midfield could do the trick. The combative Brazilian would add critical balance to control the flow of the game with his defence-minded approach.
In the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison will lead the line for Everton. Anthony Gordon has been the standout performer since Lampard’s arrival and will rightly continue on the right-wing. Demarai Gray looked a little rusty against Wolves after returning from a lengthy injury lay-off but will hope to provide the much-needed attacking spark down the left flank.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Pickford; Coleman, Godfrey, Keane, Mykolenko; Doucoure, Allan, van de Beek; Gordon, Richarlison, Gray
Newcastle United remain without the services of Kieran Trippier, Jamal Lewis, Isaac Hayden and Callum Wilson, who are all recovering from their respective long-term injuries. At the same time, it may be too soon for Federico Fernandez and Matt Ritchie to make their returns here.
Tactically, Eddie Howe was forced to switch to a 3-4-3 formation last time out after he was left short of midfield options against Chelsea, with Jonjo Shelvey and Joe Willock missing out due to their respective bouts with sickness. The former remains a big doubt for the Everton clash.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 15, 2022
However, the Newcastle boss may revert to a 4-3-3 system here, especially now that he hopes to be able to welcome Joelinton back into the midfield after the Brazilian missed the last two games due to a groin injury. Martin Dubravka will continue to operate in goal for the visitors. Protecting the Slovak shot-stopper at the heart of the Magpies’ backline will be the formidable defensive duo of Fabian Schar and Dan Burn.
In the full-back slots, Emil Krafth may get the nod over Javier Manquillo at right-back, while Matt Targett is a guaranteed starter on the other flank. Bruno Guimaraes and Sean Longstaff will expect to retain their spots in the middle of the park after a solid shift against Chelsea last time out, while Joelinton will join them to add more bite.
Allan Saint-Maximin will likely start in attack after featuring off the bench against Chelsea, whereas Ryan Fraser is also expected to make his way back into the starting lineup after being rested at the weekend. Meanwhile, Chris Wood will spearhead the attack for the visitors and will hope to cause a menace in the Toffees box with his physicality, aerial nuisance and front-foot pressing.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Dubravka; Krafth, Schar, Burn, Targett; Longstaff, Guimaraes, Joelinton; Fraser, Wood, Saint-Maximin
- Everton have lost eight of their last nine Premier League matches (W1).
- Newcastle have not lost in their last three away Premier League games against Everton (W1 D2).
- The Toffees have lost each of their last three matches against Newcastle in all competitions.
- Everton have lost each of their last four league games, shipping in nine goals without a reply.
- The Magpies have not conceded more than one goal in an away Premier League game since the start of 2022.
Player to Watch
Bruno Guimaraes is already becoming a firm fan favourite among Newcastle United supporters. He has made seven appearances for the Magpies so far, but only two of those have been starts, with competition for places intense in Newcastle’s midfield.
The Brazilian international stole the headlines on his full debut against Southampton by scoring with an outrageous backheel flick to truly announce himself in the Premier League. Then he put on a determined, disciplined performance against Chelsea. With his compatriot Joelinton returning to add more steel in midfield, Guimaraes would be looking to contribute more in the advanced areas against Everton.
Everton 1-2 Newcastle United
Everton are in desperate need of three points as the situation in Merseyside looks far from comfortable. Another defeat here, and Lampard’s side will be pulled further into the relegation quagmire. Their performances have been very inconsistent while Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure have not exactly hit top form since returning from injuries.
Newcastle, meanwhile, are on the rise since the turn of the year. Injuries to key midfield players might bode trouble for the visitors. But considering they coped without them admirably against Chelsea, they may well do so here against a struggling Everton side. So, it would not be a surprise to see them get back to winning ways on Thursday night with a narrow 2-1 victory.