MX23RW : Monday, July 26 17:33:21| >> :120:67196:67196:
Dec 26, 2015 at 5.30pm UK at St James' Park
NewcastleNewcastle United
0-1
Everton
FT(HT: 0-0)
Cleverley (93')

Preview: Newcastle United vs. Everton

Sports Mole provides the lowdown ahead of the Boxing Day Premier League match between Newcastle United and Everton.

The St James' Park faithful will want a better performance from Newcastle United when the Magpies welcome Everton on Boxing Day after failing to beat lowly Aston Villa last weekend in the Premier League.

Visitors Everton enter the match in need of a win themselves having gone four without success in the league.


Newcastle

Fabricio Coloccini celebrates scoring Newcastle's opener against Aston Villa on December 19, 2015© AFP

Steve McClaren happily admitted that he would have taken seven points out of nine from the club's last three matches against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, but that did not make last weekend's 1-1 draw against bottom club Aston Villa any less frustrating.

After stunning both Liverpool and Spurs, Newcastle took a half-time lead thanks to Fabricio Coloccini's scruffy goal in sodden conditions at St James' Park before Jordan Ayew equalised with a fine curling effort in the second period.

Newcastle were unable to grab a winner and that means that they have now dropped 12 points from winning positions this term, more than any other team in the top flight.

They also lost Papiss Cisse to injury against the Villans and the striker looks likely to miss the festive games, so the club have decided to recall Ivan Toney from his loan at Barnsley to provide cover in attack.

Despite their impressive December form, Newcastle are only two points above the bottom three and could fall back into the drop zone this weekend due to other sides around them like Bournemouth and Norwich City also picking up some surprise wins this month.

Away from the North-East, there was some sad news this week and Pavel Srnicek will no doubt be in the supporters' minds on Saturday. The former goalkeeper, who represented Newcastle between 1991 and 1998, is in an induced coma after suffering a heart attack.

Recent form: WLLWWD


Everton

Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring for Everton against Leicester on December 19, 2015© Getty Images

Roberto Martinez's Toffees head up to St James' having not won in four league games, and last Saturday they became the latest team to lose to surprise Christmas leaders Leicester City.

Although they kept the league's top scorer, Jamie Vardy, at bay, Riyad Mahrez again came up with the goods by slotting home two penalties either side of Romelu Lukaku's equaliser.

Shinji Okazaki added a third and that meant Kevin Mirallas's pinpoint late finish was just a consolation, leaving Everton 10th in the table and six points behind the European places.

In Lukaku, Everton have the division's hottest forward at the moment. The 22-year-old is the first Everton player to score in eight successive matches in all competitions since Dave Hickson in 1954. The last player to score in nine successive games for the Toffees was the legendary Dixie Dean in October 1927.

The Belgian will be confident of extending the streak this weekend given his Premier League record against Newcastle - he has had a hand in nine goals in six appearances against the Magpies (five goals, four assists).

Off the pitch, there is potentially positive news over a £200m US investment. John Jay Moores and Charles Noell have reportedly reached advanced discussions and are now taking a closer look at the club's accounts ahead of finalising a deal.

Recent Premier League form: DWDDDL
Recent form (all competitions): WDWDDL


Team News

Newcastle United's Senegalese striker Papiss Cisse controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Newcastle United at The Boleyn Ground in Upton Park, East London on September 14, 2015© Getty Images

With Cisse out, Aleksandar Mitrovic could start and McClaren has urged the striker to follow in the footsteps of Lukaku, another former Anderlecht striker.

Had Cisse been fit he would have been looking to extend his record of always scoring on Boxing Day in the Premier League, having previously netted against Manchester United in 2012 and 2014 and Stoke City in 2013.

Newcastle have one of the biggest injury lists in the league, but McClaren said this week that Jamaal Lascelles, Rolando Aarons and Emmanuel Riviere were all close to returning to full fitness.

For Everton, Phil Jagielka, Steven Pienaar, James McCarthy and Bryan Oviedo are all likely to feature at some point over the festive period, but Saturday's game could come too soon.

Martinez is likely, then, to name an unchanged starting lineup and then tinker for the visit of Stoke on Monday.

If Jagielka can return on the 28th, it would be a big boost given that only West Bromwich Albion, with 16, have conceded more home goals this season than Everton (15).

Newcastle possible starting lineup:
Elliot; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Colback, Wijnaldum; Perez; Mitrovic

Everton possible starting lineup:
Howard; Coleman, Stones, Funes-Mori, Baines; Cleverley, Barry; Deulofeu, Barkley, Kone; Lukaku


Head To Head

Everton have won five and lost just one of their last seven league meetings with Newcastle, although that defeat was in last season's match in the North-East when the Magpies edged a five-goal affair.

In fact, Newcastle have won 12 Premier League home games against Everton; only against Aston Villa (14) have they won more at St James' Park.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Newcastle 1-3 Everton

With three straight league fixtures on the horizon in the New Year against Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea, Everton need to take points against teams like Newcastle and they should be too strong for the Magpies.



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Newcastle United's English head coach Steve McClaren applauds on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United at White Hart Lane in north London on December 13, 2015.
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