David Moyes will take his Everton side to the North East to take on Newcastle United on the first day of the New Year with both the sides looking to secure victories after losses over the weekend. For Everton, they played their heart out against Chelsea at home at Goodison Park, taking the lead through Steven Pienaar after just 63 seconds only for Frank Lampard to score twice as Chelsea came from behind to take home all three points. David Moyes cut an extremely forlorn figure on the sidelines as he saw his side play brilliantly, only to succumb to some poor defending and the failure of his strikers to produce the goods.
Nikica Jelavic, who set the Premier League on fire immediately after his arrival to England in the January transfer window from Scottish giants Rangers, has yet to hit the heights that he achieved last season and the way he played against Chelsea, Moyes might not even thing of starting him against Newcastle. With Kevin Mirallas, their summer signing injured and Steven Naismith, another summer signing failing to find the back of the net, the onus will again be on Victor Anichebe, who ran his heart out during the defeat to Chelsea.
Everton will still be without skipper Phil Neville and midfield strongman Darron Gibson, who failed a late fitness test before the match against the London side. Steven Pienaar was also taken off the field in the later stages of the match and he hobbled off the pitch. However, the one piece of good news for Moyes is that Marouane Fellaini, the Belgian midfield master will be back for the Toffees after serving his three match ban for his head butt on Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross.
Newcastle, on the other hand suffered two consecutive defeats away from home, a 4-3 Boxing Day defeat at the hands of Manchester United and a 7-3 thrashing at Arsenal over the weekend and manager Alan Pardew will be pleased to return home for the fixture as he counts on the support of the home fans at St. James’ Park to revive their season. Striker Demba Ba has been in fine form of late but his Senegalese counterpart Papiss Cisse is yet to hit the heights of the previous season, and that would be a worrying thing for Pardew as Ba looks set to leave the Magpies for greener pastures in January.