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Big Match Breakdown: Everton v Newcastle United

Both clubs battling to secure a top-half spot

Just a point separates Everton and Newcastle United ahead of tonight’s game at Goodison Park, with both sides looking to tie up a place in the Premier League’s top 10.

The Toffees have home advantage and have dominated recent meetings, but it’s the Magpies with form on their side – having won each of their last four matches.

Add in the fact that Everton boss Sam Allardyce is up against his former employers, and this promises to be an intriguing encounter.

The Coral News Team have all the need-to-know info ahead of this clash…

Head to Head

Over history, this has been a fairly even fixture. Everton have had 64 wins to Newcastle’s 60, with 32 meetings ending level.

However, recent clashes have almost all gone the way of the Merseyside club. The Toffees have won seven of their last eight games against the Magpies, including each of the last four. Most recent was December’s 1-0 triumph at St James’ Park.

In fact, Newcastle haven’t even scored in any of those four meetings, conceding eight times in the process.

Likely XIs

Allardyce has tended to set his side up in a 4-3-3 system at Goodison. In midfield, Idrissa Gueye is likely to sit just behind a duo of Wayne Rooney and Tom Davies.

Meanwhile, the regular front trio of Yannick Bolasie, Cenk Tosun and Theo Walcott could again unite to good effect.

The visitors have had success with a 4-4-1-1 set-up. Their backline is unlikely to change, with Jamaal Lascelles and Florian Lejeune established as a strong centre-back duo. At the other end, Joselu could come in for the out-of-form Dwight Gayle.

Key Battles

Newcastle’s backline have been tough to break down in recent weeks, conceding just twice in four games.

However, they’ll have a difficult job against the hosts’ front three, which is likely to combine the creativity of Walcott with the aerial threat and power of Tosun.

There could be an intriguing battle in midfield. The likes of Rooney and Jonjo Shelvey are sure to add a physical element to a tussle which also includes tricky, pacy players like Davies and Kenedy.

Match Odds

In the match betting, Everton are 13/10 favourites. Meanwhile, the odds make it 11/5 for the draw and 9/4 for a Newcastle victory.

Both sides have been good coming forward. The Toffees have scored in eight of their last 10 games, while it’s eight from nine for the Tyneside club. Both Teams to Score is 10/11, with a marginally longer 6/5 for Over 2.5 Goals.

One man with a superb record against Newcastle is Walcott. The former Arsenal ace has scored six times in his last nine meetings with the Magpies, and he’s 14/5 to Score Anytime.

While this is likely to be a fairly close-run game, Everton’s prior dominance means they might just edge out Rafa Benitez’s improving side. The Toffees have won 2-1 twice already in 2018, and are 17/2 for another 2-1 victory here.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing