International News

Newcastle United v Everton


Ba: In fine form for Toon

Ba: In fine form for Toon

Newcastle will be looking to put a disappointing result against Arsenal behind them when they welcome Everton to St James' Park on Wednesday.


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The 7-3 drubbing at the Emirates Stadium was the Magpies' heaviest defeat of the season, and their fourth loss in their last five league games.

To compound matters, Alan Pardew's growing injury list threatens to derail their season and the Tynesiders currently sit just three points above the relegation zone in 15th place.

No fewer than nine Toon players are on the treatment table. Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Jonas Gutiérrez (knee), Yohan Cabaye (groin), and Ryan Taylor (knee) are all enduring lengthy spells on the sidelines and will miss the Toffees clash.

Senegalese forward Demba Ba will look to continue his fine goalscoring form against the Merseysiders, despite the growing uncertainty around his future at the club.

In contrast, Everton are enjoying a season similar to the what Newcastle had last season, and are challenging for a UEFA Champions League place.

David Moyes' side are currently in sixth position on 33 points, just three off the Champions League spots. Their disappointing loss to Chelsea on Sunday was their first in their last seven games.

Moyes is without Tony Hibbert, who has a calf strain, and Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas, who continues to struggle with a hamstring injury, as well as Darren Gibson, who is expected to miss the most of January with a thigh injury.

Marouane Fellaini will provide a boost in midfield as he returns in time for the match after completing his three-match ban for headbutting Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross.

Newcastle won the corresponding fixture last year 2-1, with a goal from Ryan Taylor and a Johnny Heitinga own-goal. They desperately need a repeat of that result or they could find themselves perilously close to the relegation zone.

Posted: 31/12/12 14:24

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