Goodison Park hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Newcastle in recent times, but the Magpies are fancied to earn a point in their latest visit on Monday evening.
The Geordies haven’t earned a victory at the Merseyside ground since 2010, while Everton have scored at least three times in each of the last three meetings between the clubs at Goodison.
On top of that, Sam Allardyce’s side recorded a 1-0 success at his former stomping ground when the teams met in December in the reverse fixture.
Although the signs haven’t been great, it is Newcastle that have more reason to feel good about themselves ahead of this clash.
The Magpies have won four Premier League games on the bounce, a fairly lavish return for a team that had yielded only seven wins in their first 29 games. The 12 points harvested in recent weeks means they have closed to within one point of ninth-placed Everton, and victory at Goodison would carry the double boost of also leapfrogging their hosts.
If Newcastle have the wind at their backs entering the final lap of this season, then Everton are rather toiling in their bid to get to the finish line.
They have not managed a win in their last three games, a run that means they have slipped ten points behind Burnley in seventh and can surely forget any hopes of European qualification.
For Allardyce, the future on Merseyside is far from certain and it would require a very strong – and seemingly unlikely – finish to the season to earn him the confidence of the natives.
Everton are 13/10 to end their winless run on Monday but they look short enough against a spirited Newcastle side.
The trends this term suggest this is going to be an evenly matched affair. Newcastle will see a top–half finish, now within their grasp, as a real success and their progress has been built on sound foundations. They have conceded less goals (42) than all the teams currently below them in the table.
For Everton the problems have tended to come at the other end. Their haul of 39 goals in 33 games is behind only Burnley from the sides currently occupying the top nine berths in the Premier League.
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