Newcastle v Everton – Team News & Preview

TEAM NEWS

Newcastle will assess midfielder Cheik Tiote, who missed Monday’s win at Stoke because of a knee injury.

The Magpies will definitely be without Gabriel Obertan, who is expected to be sidelined for about three weeks with an infected toe.

Everton welcome back Royston Drenthe from suspension but Marouane Fellaini serves a one-game ban.

The Toffees will monitor Sylvain Distin, Phil Neville and Tim Cahill, all of whom are injury doubts.

MATCH PREVIEW

So when will the Premier League’s surprise package lose their unbeaten record? Newcastle will hope it won’t be this weekend given their next three matches are Manchester City and Manchester United away followed by Chelsea at home, but whatever the outcome their form so far has been remarkable. 

Everton have had a collective spirit a lot longer than Newcastle and on their day can be a match for most

The foundations for their run have been a togetherness and spirit not seen on Tyneside for a long time, creating a real momentum. I was at St James’ Park a fortnight ago when they weren’t at their best but showed character to dig deep and beat Wigan. Manager Alan Pardew told me it had been “flat bitter”, not champagne football, but crucially they still secured the three points.

They had to put bodies on the line again at Stoke on Monday in a highly impressive victory. Pardew had plenty to win over following his appointment, but seven defeats in 32 Premier League games is a record few can argue with.

Prior to this game, Alan Pardew described David Moyes as one of the best managers in the world. The Scot was the last visiting manager to win a league game on Tyneside, back in March, and would dearly love a repeat performance after four defeats in five league matches.

Moyes was the only Premier League boss not to spend any money in the summer transfer window, and he must cast an envious eye towards Demba Ba, a player that interested him before the striker moved to England. Ba’s eight goals in the last five matches are only two fewer than Everton’s entire total this season, and tellingly they’ve come from eight different players.

The failure to convert chances and the lack of a real goalscorer has hindered the Toffees so far, but they’ve had a collective spirit a lot longer than Newcastle and on their day can be a match for most.

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