Everton’s injury and suspension crises means all three points are there for Newcastle United to take on Sunday.
Sunday’s clash against league leaders Everton at St. James’ Park has now become a toss-up game that can go either way. Newcastle United are known for finding scrappy ways to steal points from superior opponents, and we have already seen that happen twice this term against Tottenham and Wolves – both 1-1 draws away from home.
Everton enter tomorrow’s game with the status of league leaders, but they are also coming off a 2-0 defeat against Southampton. The pressure to perform and bounce back against the Magpies is high, but the task has become more difficult due to injuries and suspensions.
According to the latest update from the Toffees’ camp, Carlo Ancelotti has a selection dilemma as he will be without key players James Rodriguez, Richarlison, Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman.
This news provides Newcastle United with a major boost as they can now focus on opening up more and taking the game to their visitors.
Fans were hoping that was going to be the case against Wolves when Callum Wilson, Allan Saint-Maximin, Ryan Fraser, and Miguel Almiron all started together for the first time this season, but, no.
Steve Bruce wanted to play it safe and earn nothing more than a point, which the team did, but the attacking quartet were limited to five chances all game.
Now that Everton’s creative minds and primary playmakers are sidelined for tomorrow’s game, Newcastle United do not have to worry about chasing the ball as much.
When looking at Everton’s back line, as well as Jordan Pickford’s record between the sticks, there is absolutely no reason why the Toon should not go all out from the opening whistle.
If Bruce does not name all four attacking players in the lineup, and if he sticks with his “chase the ball and counter” approach, he should expect to hear more criticism than he is used to, and that is saying something.
The game is there for the taking. Yes, Everton have other quality players to remain competitive tomorrow, but their list of absences is significant, to the point where Newcastle United can dominate this affair with the right shape and urgency.