Toffees to edge Magpies
Ben Linfoot previews the Monday Night Football clash between Everton and Newcastle at Goodison Park.
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Roberto Martinez rested most of his big guns for the midweek Capital One Cup defeat at Fulham but a near full-strength Everton should get the job done when Newcastle visit Goodison on Monday night.
The only unbeaten team left in the Barclays Premier League have proved difficult to beat so far this season and two consecutive wins against Chelsea and West Ham have ensured a good start for the Toffees and their new boss.
Both of those victories were achieved by the narrowest of margins and another win by a goal could be on the cards with Newcastle sure to provide stern opposition.
Alan Pardew's team recovered well from a 4-0 mauling at Manchester City with victories over Fulham and Aston Villa providing a better points return from their opening fixtures than many would have predicted.
Their problems were highlighted again when they lost at home to Hull last week, but the 2-0 win over Leeds in the League Cup will have boosted confidence - especially Papiss Cisse's, who at last got his name on the scoresheet following a barren spell.
I'd expect Pardew to set his team up to be hard to break down and Everton can struggle against well-organised sides at Goodison, as a one goal return in two home games against West Brom and Chelsea suggests.
I'm not saying Newcastle are defensively minded or particularly solid, as conceding three at home to Hull suggests they are in fact the opposite. But Pardew will recognise the threat Everton pose and will accordingly put out a team to combat their attacking efforts.
In the last 10 games between these two only twice has there been more than one goal between the sides and a tight encounter could be on the cards again as there isn't a great deal between them.
But there is no doubt Everton have the players and the nous to get the better of Newcastle eventually.
Romelu Lukaku looks to have settled in very well very quickly considering his efforts against West Ham and it's not really a surprise he's generally even money to score in his first home game for Everton.
Such prices don't appeal, but a small wager on Everton to win by a goal at 11/4 with Ladbrokes is more like it and we'll take the Toffees to win by that margin.
Verdict: Everton 2 Newcastle 1
- The match is live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK.