This is one of the few games in the Premier League involving two teams with everything to play for. While it may not seem it on first glance, Everton’s campaign is still not over as the Toffees bid to finish above their fierce rivals Liverpool. Newcastle on the other hand have a huge carrot on offer, with Alan Pardew’s men knowing that a win could catapult them as high as 3rd and ensure Champions League qualification.
Everton supporters have been used to living in Liverpool’s shadows and following their FA Cup semi-final defeat to the Reds just several weeks ago, they were subject to more ridicule. However, the Toffees have the ideal opportunity to get one over their rivals this weekend, with the club currently sat one point above the Reds in 7th. Of course, ignoring the rivalry, a top seven position would be fantastic for the club for other reasons. It is no secret that the Toffees have very little resources at their disposal, with David Moyes working on a shoe string budget year on year. The fact that he has brought the Goodison Park outfit on the brink of European football speaks volumes and it is no surprise that he is once again being touted as a possible successor for Sir Alex Ferguson once he retires from his post.
Just like their opponents, Newcastle have also enjoyed a fantastic campaign and this has resulted in Alan Pardew winning the Manager of the Year award. Considering the fact that the Magpies were plying their trade in the Championship just a couple of years ago, the fact they are now in 5th place is incredible. It is certainly going to be a tense finale to the campaign for Newcastle’s supporters though, with the Sports Direct Arena outfit knowing that their Champions League situation rests on this fixture. With just two points separating them from 3rd, there really is a fine line as to what they can achieve this term.
Everton could be handed a huge boost ahead of this clash with up to three players poised to make comebacks. The likes of Leighton Baines, Phil Neville and Darron Gibson are all back in contention for David Moyes’ men, although Victor Anichebe and Jack Rodwell will not be featuring as injury hinders them. There are just a couple pieces of team news to report for Newcastle on the other hand, with both Danny Simpson and Leon Best both set to miss the fixture as ankle and thigh problems affect the duo respectively.
In terms of a prediction, our tip is going to be an Everton win. The Toffees have some remarkable form at Goodison Park over recent months and following a couple of defeats for Newcastle in recent weeks, we think this game will finish with a 2-1 win for the home side.