Newcastle play host to Everton in the Premier League on Saturday looking for a third win in four matches while the Toffees head to the north-east with renewed confidence following a morale boosting draw with bitter rivals Liverpool.
The reverse fixture back in December handed Rafael Benitez's men a rare point on the road, and the club have since began to claw themselves away form the relegation zone with some valuable wins in the recent weeks - and now sit 14th in the table.
Everton, meanwhile, have picked up just four points from a possible 15 leaving them in tenth, but will draw solace from their last two matches, a resounding victory over Cardiff and a well-earned point in the Merseyside derby.
Check out 90min's preview ahead of Saturday's encounter.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 9 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||150:0 (GMT)|
|Where Is it Played?||St. James' Park|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Soccer Saturday|
Benitez is facing an anxious wait to discover the extent of Sean Longstaff's knee injury he sustained in the 2-0 defeat to West Ham. The academy star left the London Stadium on crutches and fears are he is set to miss a long spell out, with Everton likely to come too soon for the Geordie star.
21y 119d - Aged 21 years and 119 days, Sean Longstaff is the youngest player to score for Newcastle in the Premier League since Rolando Aarons in May 2016 (20y 181d v Spurs). Talent. pic.twitter.com/3dinaQSG9e— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 26, 2019
Other than Longstaff, Newcastle are at near full strength, with the only concern surrounding Fabian Schar, who is one booking away from suspension heading into the fixture.
Marco Silva was able to shuffle his pack for the 0-0 draw with Liverpool after having all his squad fit and able. That could mean a return to the starting XI for Richarlison and Andre Gomes, both having began the Merseyside derby on the bench.
Just like Schar, Lucas Digne is risking suspension and should he get booked on Saturday, will miss the following tie at home with Chelsea.
|Newcastle||Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune, Ritchie; Diame, Hayden, Perez, Almiron; Rondon.|
|Everton||Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne, Gueye, Gomes, Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Calvert-Lewin.|
Head to Head Record
These two sides boast an interesting statistics between them, with this fixture having seen the most penalty goals of any Premier League fixture with 18.
Despite the number of penalties, it is Everton who have the best recent record in this encounter, losing just one of the last 12 meetings between the sides, a 3-2 defat at St. James' Park in 2014.
Back in December these two sides played out a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park after Richarlison cancelled out Salomon Rondon's opener, a result that moved Silva's men temporarily into sixth in the league.
A disappointing 2-0 defeat to West Ham last time out slightly took the gloss off what had been a good run for Newcastle in the league.
Aside from a FA Cup fourth round exit at the hands of Watford, the Magpies had been on a run of six wins from their last eight matches in all competitions, a run that included a scalp over Manchester City.
Win two tickets to see the lads take on Everton on Saturday thanks to our shirt sponsors FUN88.— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) March 6, 2019
To be in with a chance to win all you have to do is like this tweet and follow @fun88eng.
18+ | #NUFC pic.twitter.com/1Bc9QqM3qv
That good run had seen them edge six points clear of the bottom three, as Benitez's men overcame a rocky start to the season.
It's roles reversed for Everton, however, as their good start to the season began to falter a midway through the campaign, with the ship being steadied somewhat since. Nonetheless, a run of three defeats from their last five is a disappointing return for a side who invested so heavily in the summer.
Their inability to maintain consistency this season has been worrying for Silva, having had to withstand constant rumours regarding his future in charge of the club.
Here is how each team has performed in their last five matches:
|West Ham 2-0 Newcastle (2/3)||Everton 0-0 Liverpool (3/3)|
|Newcastle 2-0 Burnley (26/2)||Cardiff 0-3 Everton(26/2)|
|Newcastle 2-0 Huddersfield (23/2)||Watford 1-0 Everton (9/2)|
|Wolves 1-1 Newcastle (11/2)||Everton 0-2 Man City (6/2)|
|Tottenham 1-0 Newcastle (2/2)||Everton 1-3 Wolves (2/2)|
It was a determined and professional performance from Everton to hold Liverpool to a draw in their last match, however such performances have been few and far between for Silva's men this term. Their lack of consistency has been glaringly obvious, and predicting which Toffees side will turn up is anyone's guess.
Newcastle have managed to find some form at home in recent weeks, something Saturday's visitors have not, with successive 2-0 wins bringing confidence back to St James' Park. With the way Benitez sets his side up at home, he makes them hard to beat yet allows the creativity of Ayoze Perez and Miguel Almiron to shine, something Everton won't be able to deal with.
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Everton.
Source : 90min