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Friday, February 23, 2024

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Premier League: Newcastle vs Everton; “He had a little problem and needs to rest for this game”

Everton will be looking to bounce back against Newcastle United on Sunday after their first defeat of the season last weekend. 

Carlo Ancelotti’s side struggled without Richarlison on the wing as they lacked pace in their attacks.

This weekend they will be without even more players than just Richarlison who still has two games to sit out due to his red card. 

In his press conference Ancleotti said about James Rodriguez: “He had a little problem and needs to rest for this game, I think he will be available for the next game.” 

So, another attacking key man will be unavailable for Everton which may give Newcastle the upper hand before the game. 

Ancelotti also confirmed that Seamus Coleman is out injured for the game meaning that Ben Godfrey may again play in an unnatural position at right back after struggling there against Southampton. 

As well as Coleman obviously, Lucas Digne will be out due to suspension meaning the impressive Niels Nkounkou could deputise for his Premier league debut unless Delph comes back in to play left-back which he did for Manchester City more often than not. 

Thankfully though Ancelotti was able to announce some positive injury news as he revealed that Jarrad Branthwaite and Jonjoe Kenny are finally both back and ready to be play again. 

Kenny may be drafted in for his first start in the Premier League this season and it certainly won’t be easy as the electrifying Allan Saint-Maximin will be licking his lips at the prospect of testing Kenny’s defensive capabilities if he does start. 

Everton did not pose any sort of threat against Southampton and their defence was very suspect at every given opportunity, it was overall an awful day for The Blues. 

The attack against Newcastle will be spearheaded by star man Dominic Calvert-Lewin but the English international cannot do it by himself as he showed against Southampton with Alex Iwobi really not grasping the chance to prove to everyone he is good enough to be starting games. 

This weekend it may finally be Anthony Gordon’s chance to show Ancelotti he should be the first reserve to Rodriguez and Richarlison due to Iwobi and Bernard putting in poor displays in the defeat. 

Ancelotti said: “I think Anthony Gordon has the same possibility to play as the other players in the squad.  

“I have to choose the first 11 and as I say to the players all the time it’s not important to start the game, it’s important to be involved. The target is to help the team.” 

So, Ancelotti did not want to confirm or deny whether the youngster who impressed in the restart last season would start keeping his cards close to his chest. 

But the lack of options may make it difficult for Ancelotti to not give Gordon a start whose creative spark will certainly be something Calvert-Lewin will need to put away some chances against a defensive Newcastle United side. 

The midfield three against Southampton is unlikely to change with summer recruits Allan and Doucoure being the first names on the team sheet.  

Gylfi Sigurdsson may be swapped out for Andre Gomes but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Icelandic international stay in the line-up as creativity from deep will be key to unlock Newcastle who will more than likely sit back and play their negative style of football which sees them sit in 14th place. 

Everton supporters will be having nightmares about the last game against Newcastle in January as it looked like a simple win with Moise Kean scoring his first goal for the club and then Calvert-Lewin made it two. 

In stoppage time though Everton crumbled as centre back Florian Lejeune scored in the 94th minute then scored again in the 95th minute. 

It was almost comical so Ancelotti will be wanting his side to right their wrongs. 

With a team that is lacking so many important players though it will be difficult but if Everton are serious this season games like this they must win and prove their squad depth is capable. 

This game will make supporters feel either buzzing with enthusiasm or thinking same old same old at full time so it’s a massive game to get the momentum back for this impressive start of the season. 

Written by Elliot Thompson

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