Newcastle United vs Everton preview: Magpies look to keep up good home form
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Newcastle United vs Everton preview: Magpies look to keep up good home form

Newcastle will be looking to keep a third consecutive clean sheet when Everton make the trip up North.

Aaron Hindhaugh

Newcastle United come into the game having won their last two games at home 2-0 against Burnley and Huddersfield Town respectively.

However, Everton will be hopeful of getting a positive result after they shut out local rivals Liverpool last weekend.

What to expect

Many think the Magpies are safe from relegation for another season, but not Rafa Benitez who will be eager to reach the 38 point mark as soon as possible.

However, this game seems like it may be more important for Marco Silva who is in need of a good run of results and a win at St James' Park would help towards that.

The Toffees are unbeaten in their last two games keeping clean sheets in both of those games against Liverpool and Cardiff.

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Everton will more than likely attack the home side with Benitez happy for his side to invite pressure onto themselves and hit a usually fragile Toffees defence on the counter-attack.

The away side will look to play on the front foot and get an early goal but Newcastle have only conceded one goal in their last four home games.

In this time the Magpies have scored nine goals and scoring at least two goals in each of their last four home games.

The Magpies will have to be prepared to defend from wide areas as Lucas Digne has put in the more crosses than any other Everton player as he has whipped in over 120 crosses.

However, with Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune expected to play it will be what they want to deal with for 90 minutes against one striker.

Last meeting

In the reverse fixture, the Magpies got a well-deserved point at Goodison Park after going ahead early on through Salomon Rondon.

Richarlison levelled things up just before half time and neither side threatened much in the second half with a draw being a fair result.

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In that fixture, Newcastle were pinned back into their own half for the majority of the game and defended Digne's crosses well and played well on the counter-attack.

The Magpies nearly knicked all three points at the end but Christian Atsu could not find a way past Jordan Pickford to inflict a defeat on his former side.

What the managers had to say

Benitez admitted his side may have experienced overconfidence before their 2-0 defeat against West Ham United but claims it will not happen again.

The Spaniard said: "I was trying to avoid over-confidence in the group before the West Ham game but sometimes you can’t.

"We won’t make the same mistake. Everton is another final for us. 

"We did well at Goodison Park, we played well, but they good players & it will be a tough, tough game."

Benitez spoke about the recent home form: "At the beginning, we played top sides, but now we have gained confidence we didn’t have before. 

"The team is playing well, the fans are supporting the players & the atmosphere has been positive.

Silva spoke highly of own side's confidence: "We got an important away win, and then a draw in a tough home match with the derby."

Everton's manager spoke about Newcastle highly in his press conference: "They are always a solid team. They are very strong in their defensive organisation.

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"They do not concede many goals and they are really strong in the counter-attack, too."

Team news

Heading into the game neither side have a mass amount of injuries but Newcastle will be without their best player from the last month.

Sean Longstaff has been ruled out for the rest of the season with cruciate knee ligament damage just after being nominated for the Premier League's player of the month award.

The midfielder had featured 13 times for the Magpies and scored two goals alongside numerous great performances keeping other regulars out of the first team.

Everton will be without veteran defenders Phil Jagielka who has not featured in the last two training sessions and Leighton Baines who is still struggling with fitness and injuries.

Neither player has been a regular for the Toffees this season but their experience and knowledge may be a loss if they are trying to hold on to a lead.