Premier League match time arrives at St James’s Park as Newcastle get set to host Everton, in a second leg meeting, in match week 29, on Saturday, March 5.
The first leg, hosted by Everton, on September 1, was won 1-0 by Newcastle.
Ben Arfa’s half-time strike put the Magpies ahead at the interval, and no further addition to the score meant that Everton had given away three points playing at home. Everton mounted a late challenge and but for Coloccini stopping a tap from Fellaini off a Barnes pass, the Toffees should have equalised in injury time.
Referee Andre Marriner was the butt of the crowd’s ire as many of his decsiions were perceived as favouring the visitors. Titote had an outstanding game for the visitors and had a shot at goal in the 14th minute that Howard had no trouble keeping out of the Everton goal. About 15 minutes later, Barton’s free-kick would have got the score-board moving but for Howard tipping the ball over the post.
Newcastle stood up to whatever Everton threw at the in the second half, although James Perch looked out of sorts in the top flight and picked up his fifth yellow of the season.
It is fair to say that Everton looked off colour and unmotivated, with some players playing in unfamiliar positions, and were outplayed on the day.
Head to head, Newcastle have established an 8-6 lead over Everton in the last 20 league games between the sides, with the remaining 6 games having ended in stalemates.
Of 10 league games this season, Newcastle have won.2 and lost 3 while drawing the remaining 5; Everton have won 4 of their last 10, while losing and drawing 3 each. Only 4 of their 14 home games this season have been won by Newcastle while 4 have been won by rival teams and 6 drawn. Everton have had just 2 wins on the road, while drawing 7 and losing 5.
In match week 28, Newcastle drew 1-1 at home against Bolton, while Everton beat Sunderland 2-0 at home. On current form, Newcastle will be lucky to be able to salvage a point, thouh they will enjoy home advantage.
Newcastle’s starting eleven against Bolton had the following players: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Taylor, Tiote, Nolan, Guttierez, Best and Lovenkrandz. Ranger, Kuqi and Taylor were used as substitutes.
Everton had the following men in their starting eleven against Sunderland: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman, Arteta, Fellaini, Osman, Beckford and Saha. Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov and Cahill featured as substitutes.
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.