28 December 2021, 15:38 | 28 August 2021, 15:29
After two weeks without Premier League football, the Toffees make their return against the Magpies, hoping to shake off the COVID-induced dust and pick up a win in a bid to halt the downward spiral. Everton FC vs. Newcastle United kicks off at 20:30 (GMT+1) on Thursday, December 30, at Goodison Park.
Preview Everton Premier League, Dec 30, 2021
Preview Rafael Benítez had expressed shock over the Board’s initial denial of a request to postpone the game against Burnley due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the club. However, he was let off the hook after the request was later granted. Benitez had complained of having only nine outfield players available for that game. Everton's scheduled Boxing Day match at Burnley has been postponed after a Premier League review of the club's request due to injuries and positive COVID-19 cases in the Blues' first-team squad. A statement from Everton’s website read. Everton were due to travel to Turf Moor to play on Sunday at 3PM. The Board reviewed the club’s request today [Friday] to postpone the match following further injuries to their squad. A statement from the Premier League Board read in part. Everton slipped to 15th place on the table, having failed to play on Boxing Day. The Toffees have 19 points from 5W, 4D, and 8L, having picked up only one victory in the last five Premier League games: LLWLD. Much to the surprise of the Evertonians, Rafael Benítez scraped out a point against the Blues last time out. Benítez went for the defensive 5—4—1 formation against Chelsea, knowing he didn’t have the resources to pose a formidable attacking threat. A similar shape, or the 4—4—1—1 formation, is expected for this fixture against the Magpies. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is expected to make his return on Thursday, having been sidelined for weeks, to lead the attack against Newcastle. Meanwhile, Richarlison, Andros Townsend, and Demarai Gray all remain on the list of possible absentees ahead of Thursday’s game.
Preview Newcastle United Premier League, Dec 30, 2021
Preview Newcastle failed to pick up a rare win on Monday night, having taken an early lead against Manchester United on home soil. A remarkable goal from Allan Saint-Maximin (7’) had separated both sides inside the first ten minutes, but a rare goal from the veteran striker, Edinson Cavani (71'), left the Magpies with only a point. Following the draw, Newcastle remains in 19th place on the Premier League table, with 11 points from 1W, 8D, & 10L. With only 4 points from a possible 15, WLLLD, Eddie Howe will be on the hunt for three elusive points. The draw against United came at the cost of losing Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson, who were both forced off before the end of the game. The 4—5—1 seen against United is expected for Thursday’s game against Everton. Dwight Gayle could replace Callum Wilson in attack.