Everton Eye Top Four

Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Leon Osman could return for Everton against Newcastle. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Everton  can move into the top four on the English Premier League ladder by beating Newcastle United  on Tuesday morning (AEST), with the club unbeaten in the top flight this season. Many suggested that the Toffees would struggle when David Moyes left to take the reins at Old Trafford in the off-season, but new boss Roberto Martinez is yet to taste defeat in six Premier League fixtures since moving to Goodison Park.

Leon Osman and Arouna Kone are both progressing well as they recover from injuries that saw them miss the Capital One Cup defeat to Fulham last week and are in contention, while Darren Gibson may earn his first League start of the campaign after returning from injury against the Cottagers. Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka, Nikica Jelavic and Gareth Barry were all rested for that match but should be recalled to the starting lineup. On loan midfielder Gareth Barry will make his 500th Premier League appearance if he features for the Toffees.

Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and Loic Remy all sat out Newcastle’s 2-0  Cup victory over Leeds last week but should return for this match, which the Magpies will be desperate to win in order to move into the top half of the table. Currently occupying 16th spot on the table, Newcastle could leap as high as seventh with a win. Steven Taylor and Shola Ameobi could be fit to return for the first since August, but Jonas Gutierrez is unlikely to be available.

Everton has made Goodison Park a fortress in recent times, recording eight wins and three draws  in 11 league matches at the ground in 2013. Newcastle has won just one of its past ten league trips to the venue but played out an entertaining 2-2  draw against the Toffees here last season. Everton won the most recent clash between the pair 2-1 , on Tyneside in January.

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