Most of the attention in England this week is on the FA Cup, but there are still some pretty interesting match-ups in the Premier League. While the league has already been decided, the four Champions League spots mostly set, and the teams being relegated largely determined, some teams would love specific finishes.
As of now, both Everton and Newcastle are in the top half of the table. Everton is used to being in this position, but this is new territory for Newcastle. The Magpies have struggled to stay in the Premier League this decade and only came back up from Championship once again last year. A top ten finish would leave their fans delighted and very optimistic heading into next season.
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Everton FC vs. Newcastle United
Date and Time: April 23, 2018, 3 p.m. ET
Location: Goodison Park
US Television Coverage: NBCSN
Betting Line: Everton PK and -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
Newcastle has been red hot over the last month. When the month of March started, the Magpies were in a precarious position in the table with 29 points through 29 games, but things have improved since that point. The club upon the Tyne has now won four straight and are sitting three points ahead of Bournemouth in 10th place. The last two matches, wins over Leicester City and Arsenal, prove that their performance is not the result of weak competition either.
Everton is playing good football too. Although the Toffees have not won in any of their last three games, losing to Manchester City and drawing with Liverpool is nothing to be embarrassed about. The club had won their two matches prior to the relatively tough slate, beating Stoke City and Brighton and Hove Albion.
When these clubs met in Newcastle earlier in the season, Everton escaped with a 1-0 win. The Toffees were very fortunate to get the three points though, as the Magpies controlled most of the match. Wayne Rooney scored the lone goal after a goalkeeping blunder from Karl Darlow, and Everton didn’t have more than a couple good chances aside from that.
Newcastle had plenty of opportunities to score. The Magpies had two different players hit shots off the post, and there were a number of near-misses too.
Newcastle is very healthy on the injury front. Darlow is healthy again after a shoulder injury he had suffered earlier in the year, and there are no Magpies listed on the injury report.
Everton has not been so fortunate. The Toffees already have four players that have been declared out for the rest of the year, and the team is holding out hope that midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson will return. Sigurdsson has been out for a while now and may or may not return.
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Everton has been surprisingly porous in the back line this year. The Toffees have given up 54 goals and you could make a case that they are rather fortunate to be in this spot. Their goal differential is -15, a full eight goals worse than Newcastle.
Additionally, Newcastle has gotten some good play from its attackers lately. Ayoze Perez has been magnificent this season and Dwight Gayle has played well too. Getting Islam Slimani healthy again has really given this team a new dynamic as well. Slimani has had good chemistry with his teammates despite being injured for much of his time at Newcastle.
There is value in Newcastle here. Finishing in the top half is old hat for Everton, but Newcastle would be elated with such a result. The Magpies are playing well and can punish the hosts around goal.
English Premier League Prediction: Newcastle United 2, Everton FC 1
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