The Scout: Everything Everton fans need to know about Newcastle United

Everything you need to know about Everton’s midweek opponents.
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Frank Lampard’s first Premier League game in charge of Everton sees his side make the trip north to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Tuesday night.

The mood within the blue half of Merseyside has sky-rocketed already under their new manager, following a resounding 4-1 FA Cup win over Brentford on Saturday.

And now Lampard’s side have the chance to pull seven points clear of the bottom three, if other results go their way too.

Newcastle will be no easy game, however, with a wealth of talent arriving on Tyneside over January to aid their battle to avoid the drop.

The Magpies did the double over Everton last season and can go within a point of their visitors with a victory.

Form guide

Position: 19th

Last five games: LLDDW

After a torrid start to the season in which they went 14 Premier League games without a win, Newcastle have rallied somewhat and are now on a three-game unbeaten run.

Home draws against Manchester United and Watford were followed by a much-needed win away at fellow strugglers Leeds United, before the team flew out to Saudi Arabia for some warm-weather training.

However, Newcastle have struggled to harness the raucous St James’ Park atmosphere, winning only once at home all season - a 1-0 win against Burnley.

But the two recent draws did show signs of improvement under new manager Eddie Howe and they will be desperate to start rewarding the Geordie faithful with some blistering football.

Selection issues

Callum Wilson will be missing for Newcastle against Everton. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesCallum Wilson will be missing for Newcastle against Everton. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Callum Wilson will be missing for Newcastle against Everton. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As reported by LiverpoolWorld, Howe confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Newcastle will be without Callum Wilson, who is still recovering from a long-term calf injury.

January signing Dan Burn is also doubtful for Tuesday night after picking up a slight toe problem.

He sits on the treatment table alongside Matt Ritchie, Federico Fernández and Paul Dummett - all of whom remain a serious doubt - while Joelinton’s return to training has him back in contention.

Positives for Newcastle come in the form of the other four signings: Kieran Trippier, Matt Targett, Chris Wood and Bruno Guimarães.

All are available for selection and likely to start.

Newcastle’s star man

Newcastle United star Allan Saint-Maximin. Newcastle United star Allan Saint-Maximin.
Newcastle United star Allan Saint-Maximin.

After spending over £90 million in January, you may think a new-signing would be the one to watch.

But Allan Saint-Maximin remains the biggest threat in black and white stripes and bears the vast majority of creative responsibility.

His eight goal contributions (five goals and three assists) are more than double any other available player and he has received over 100 more passes than any other Newcastle player - an indicator of how often teammates look for the Frenchman.

In possession, Saint-Maximin can be unplayable with his trademark combination of quick feet and unpredictable dribbling - he will fancy himself against an ageing Seamus Coleman and will commit at least another defender with every attack.

He can have a tendency to over-complicate things, however, and has frustrated Newcastle fans on more than one occasion for trying a trick too many players when a simple pass would prove more effective.

The 24-year-old is likely to start on the left of a front-three but will have free rein to drift across the attacking third of the pitch in search of the ball.

Newcastle’s key weakness

There are several reasons why Newcastle are in the bottom three, but a lack of game management has been a massive source of frustration.

The Magpies have lost a league-high 21 points from winning positions this season, winning only two of the 11 games in which they have gone ahead.

Their attacking firepower and the momentum they can gather from the crowd can create a difficult atmosphere at St James’ Park, but Howe’s men are building a habit of crumbling under the pressure of a lead.

A lack of confidence in their own defensive capabilities can force Newcastle defenders to drop deeper, inviting pressure and stifling their own attacking momentum.

Combined with a spate of individual mistakes and poor one-on-one defending means there is often a massive vulnerability to Newcastle when they are ahead.

The test for Everton will be to remain compact and ride the storm of Newcastle attacks, biding their time for the inevitable nervousness to sweep through the Gallowgate End.

If they can ruffle a few feathers and push Newcastle back towards their own goal then they should have enough quality and strength to get a result.

Everton’ Newcastle on Tuesday kicks off at 19:45.