Phil Jagielka and his Everton side can move in to second with a win over Newcastle. Image courtesy of skysports.com
After back-to-back wins over Manchester United and Aston Villa to start the season, Everton came back to earth with a thud following a 2-0 defeat away to West Brom at the start of September. As the Red Devils found out on the opening weekend, though, not many visiting teams come away from Goodison Park with the three points.
Newcastle United returned to Tyneside empty-handed on the final day of last season after the Toffees dished out a 3-1 defeat. A win, draw and loss from their first three matches of the season suggest the Magpies haven’t quite reached the level of last campaign where a fifth-place finish propelled them in to the Europa League.
Alan Pardew’s side has a poor recent record Merseyside, as well. Everton has won five of its last seven home fixtures against the Magpies. The Toffees have also collected the three points in their last five games at Goodison, and they’ve also won their last three Monday Premier League matches there, without conceding a goal.
Just 2.26 goals were scored per game at the ground last season, a figure only lowered at Anfield, the home of cross-town rival Liverpool. David Moyes’s men managed to keep a clean sheet on seven occasions there in 2011/12, conceding just 0.79 goals per game, which suggests there’s every chance the teams may stay under 2.5 goals total .
Newcastle, however, is one team which had success away from home last season. They scored first on the road in 11 of 19 games, a total only bettered by Man City and United, the teams that filled the top two places on the table. Everton scored 64 per cent of its goals in the second half of games last campaign, so a Newcastle/Everton halftime/fulltime double is great value.
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