How Everton Will Line Up Against Newcastle United

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How Everton Will Line Up Against Newcastle United
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Everton travel to Newcastle on Tuesday, hunting a fourth straight Premier League win for the first time since 2008.

Three successive triumphs have revived faint hopes of a top-four finish, which a win over the Magpies would resurrect further.

Newcastle have been hot and cold in recent weeks, winning and losing three of their last six encounters.

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This season's reverse fixture was entertaining viewing. Everton sped to a 3-0 half-time lead before eventually holding on to win 3-2.

The Toffees have won two of their past three visits to St James' Park, including coming from behind to win 2-1 last year.

 

Team News

Steven Pienaar and Phil Jagielka both missed out against Swansea. Roberto Martinez revealed his captain is fully fit but not guaranteed to face Newcastle, via Everton's official website:

Pienaar, however, remains out, sidelined until at least the 16th of April, as Martinez also confirmed during his pre-match press conference.

Bryan Oviedo, Darron Gibson, Lacina Traore and Arouna Kone are long-term absentees.

 

Selection

With that team news considered, here's a look at Martinez's potential starting XI:

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Despite Jagielka's return, Martinez may prefer to ease his captain back in, giving him a few more days of training to avoid any risk.

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That would leave the same back five that faced Swansea, with Gareth Barry and James McCarthy once again sitting in front.

As usual, the key decisions come further up the pitch.

Predicting the three attacking midfielders has been a gamble all season. On and off the ball, the balance wasn't quite right against Swansea, which should lead to a return for Leon Osman.

Despite two assists, Kevin Mirallas had a quiet game and may be rotated out in place of Gerard Deulofeu.

Romelu Lukaku will start in attack, and Martinez must be tempted to keep Ross Barkley behind him given their success during September's clash.

 

Key Battles

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Barry and McCarthy will hope for much more control than they found against Swansea on Saturday.

Everton recorded their lowest possession (41 percent) of the season, struggling to enforce their usual passing approach.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Newcastle are a more direct outfit, which should provide the Toffees with a better platform to play from.

Lukaku enjoyed one of his best displays of the season against Newcastle, scoring twice while terrorising Fabricio Coloccini and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

The Belgian will look to repeat his success over Coloccini, although Mike Williamson seems a more likely partner than the hapless Yanga-Mbiwa.

Barkley was also key in that match, finding considerable space between the lines.

If Newcastle repeat their tactics of pressing from midfield while their defence drops back onto Lukaku, Barkley will have room to make a decisive impact.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Everton

 

Statistics via WhoScored.com

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