By 90Min
December 12, 2017

Everton and Newcastle fight it out at St. James' Park on Wednesday as both clubs eye varying outcomes for their seasonal aims.

The Magpies are desperate for a win to end their seven-game run without a victory, while the Toffees want to build on their current four-match unbeaten run.

With points on the board needed ahead of the fixture-laden festive period, here's all the details on what to know ahead of the match.


Past Meeting

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Everton ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Newcastle when the two sides last met in England's top flight in February 2016.

Aaron Lennon's first-half strike had appeared to be enough to secure all three points for the Blues on that occasion, but two late Ross Barkley penalties in three minutes put the gloss on the result at Goodison Park.

Tom Cleverly's last-gasp goal in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day 2015 also saw Everton snatch a win with the last kick of the game on Tyneside - a 94th-minute strike which broke Magpies fan's hearts.


Key Men

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It's fair to say that Newcastle have missed their leader Jamaal Lascelles at the back during his injury absence.

The 24-year-old has helped the hosts concede just 10 goals in the 11 league appearances he's made this season, but without him the North East side have alarmingly shipped 15 in the last five.

If anyone was as important to Newcastle's chances of keeping a clean sheet and helping them turn their form around then it's Lascelles - and his ability to get on the end of attacking set pieces wouldn't go amiss either.

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For Everton, you need look no further than boyhood Blue Wayne Rooney as a man coming into goalscoring form at the right time.

The veteran forward has four goals and an assist in his last three league games for the Toffees - stats that have taken his tally to nine and two for the season.

Rooney's quality in possession will be vital to the Blues' chances of leaving St. James' Park with something to show for their efforts, and could help them finally end their barren spell on the road without a league win.


Team News

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Rafael Benitez has an almost fully fit squad to choose from but will give Lascelles every chance to prove his fitness ahead of kick off.

Paul Dummett is recovering well from the injury he sustained on the opening day but is still someway off being ready for top flight action.

Sam Allardyce is without Leighton Baines due to a calf problem, while Yannick Bolasie still needs time to build up his match sharpness after his first competitive match - with the club's Under-23s - for over a year.

Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane, however, are available for selection to bolster Allardyce's defensive options.

Predicted Newcastle Lineup: Darlow; Yedlin, Lejeune, Clark, Manquillo; Ritchie, Merino, Hayden, Atsu; Gayle, Joselu.

Predicted Everton Lineup: Pickford; Kenny, Williams, Keane, Martina; Gueye, Schneiderlin; Lennon, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Calvert-Lewin.


Prediction

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Newcastle's wretched current form and Everton's inability to win away from home should have this down as a draw.

However, the visitors have the better of the recent encounters between the two teams, and have their tails up with some confidence boosting results.

If Allardyce can keep his former club quiet then his current charges may just end their 11-month wait for a Premier League win away from Merseyside.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-2 Everton


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