Everton v Newcastle
Saturday January 30, 12:30
Live on BT Sport
In-form Everton all set to win again
After a break of 12 days, thanks to the postponement of their Premier League match away at Aston Villa, Everton now face their third game in seven days when they line up against Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime.
Following a comfortable 3-0 win at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup on Sunday evening, the Toffees drew 1-1 at home with Leicester on Wednesday night.
Following their 2-2 draw with local rivals Liverpool in October, the Toffees endured a sticky spell, when they lost four in five in the Premier League, but they’ve turned it around since the end of November and they’ve now lost just one of their last eight in the Premier League.
Wednesday night’s clash with Leicester was a struggle and although they took the lead courtesy of a brilliant James Rodriguez strike after 30 minutes, the Foxes deserved the draw at least and had they grabbed a second after Youri Tielemans’ 67th minute equaliser no home fan could have felt aggrieved and the Everton boss, Carlos Ancelotti, was more than happy with the point.
“Honestly, the result was fair. Leicester played really well in my opinion. The result is fair. It’s a good point for us.”
Odds-on Bruce needs a result
In sharp contrast to Everton, Newcastle’s form has fallen off a cliff.
Since they beat fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at home, courtesy of an 82nd minute Dwight Gayle winner, the Magpie’s are winless in their last 11 games in all competitions.
That run includes nine Premier League games without a win and Steve Bruce’s men have lost their last seven away games in all competitions. And they’ve failed to score in their last six on the road.
Steve Bruce is now the odds-on favourite in the Next Manager To Leave market and having been matched at a high of 10.5, the Magpies are just 2.56/4 to be relegated.
Although they were beaten 2-1 at home by Leeds on Tuesday night, there was at least some fight shown, in the second half in particular.
Newcastle had 22 shots (5 on target) and that was their most in a Premier League game this season. They hit the woodwork twice after going 2-1 down and a dejected looking Bruce sounded hopeful after the game.
“Pleased with the performance, of course I was, but obviously disappointed that we haven’t took something from the game. I don’t know if I’ve been on a worse run in the 20 years I’ve been going but I’ve seen a little bit of something tonight so I can get my teeth into that and get ready start work again tomorrow.”
The COVID pandemic hit Newcastle hard at the end of November and the introduction of Allan Saint-Maximin in the second half on Tuesday was another plus. Like club captain, Jamaal Lascelles, he’s suffered with long-term effects COVID-19 and he’s been badly missed.
Home side impossible to oppose
As if things weren’t bad enough for the visitors, Newcastle’s recent record at Goodison Park is poor and their 1-0 win there back in 2010 is their only victory in their last 16 Premier League away games against Everton.
Given the Toffees’ decent run of form and the fact that Newcastle are on the worst current run of form in the Premier League (five consecutive defeats and nine games without a win), it’s very hard to look past the hosts, even at odds of around 1.68/13.
Newcastle have picked up just two of a possible 27 points since they beat West Brom on Dec 16 and Everton deserve to be strong favourites with just one defeat in the last eight in the Premier League.
Looking at the side markets, Under 2.5 Goals is the odds-on favourite in the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market but that’s a tough market to assess. As many as 56% of Everton’s home games produce at least three goals but only 20% of Newcastle’s away games have produced three or more.
Both teams have found the net in 67% of Everton’s home games this season but in only 30% of Newcastle’s away matches have both sides found the net so the Both Teams to Score market, where No is the slight favourite, is another tough one to gauge.
It’s hard to make a case for anything but a home win but the visitors may well build on their improved performance in the second half on Tuesday night and they’re certainly due a goal away from home.
Everton to win 2-0 or 2-1 in the Correct Score market looks the way to go but Newcastle may hold out for a while and Draw/Everton in the Half Time/Full Time market is appealing too.
It’s been a draw at the break in only three of Everton’s nine Premier League games so far this season but Newcastle have been tied at half time in six of their nine away matches to date. And given Newcastle have a habit of scoring late goals, I’ve also had a very small speculative wager on Everton/Draw at a juicy price.
Everton were ahead at half time against Leicester before drawing 1-1 on Wednesday night and while Newcastle aren’t anywhere near as good as the Foxes, 15 of their 19 goals scored this season have been in the second half and they scored twice in the 90th minute in this fixture last season to grab a point having been losing 1-0 at the break.