Games between Newcastle and Everton over the past two Premier League campaigns have followed an eerily familiar path.
In both 2013/14 and 2014/15 the first meeting ended 3-2 to the home side. Then on both occasions the second match finished 3-0.
With the pair set to lock horns for the first time in 2015/16 on Boxing Day, Steve McClaren will be rather hopeful that the pattern continues as he looks to move away from the table’s dangerous end over the festive period.
Having seen his resurgent Newcastle side kept from a third successive top-flight victory in a frustrating teatime clash with rock-bottom Aston Villa, managing a win that would take the Magpies to within three points of the tenth-place Toffees would be the perfect tonic.
This could well be the opportune time to face the Merseyside club as well, who have flattered to deceive a little this season, playing brilliantly at times, but too regularly getting exposed at the back.
The goals of Romelu Lukaku, so often provided by his Spanish teammate Gerard Deulofeu on the right wing, cannot paper over defensive deficiencies which continue to plague Martinez’s teams.
Leaders Leicester were the latest to take advantage of some suspect defending, running out 3-2 winners at Goodison Park, ensuring Everton’s winless run in the top tier was extended to four matches.
On the road drawing games has been the most notable feature too, with only two of eight sojourns away from Goodison ending in wins, as this campaign threatens to underwhelm.
Although that Villa setback took some of the sheen off Newcastle’s impressive victories over top-four hopefuls Liverpool and Tottenham, McClaren is certainly extracting another 50 per cent out of the team which had looked doomed after 10 games.
As the match odds suggest, this could well be decided by the odd goal, and using the recent spate of 3-2 scorelines, returns of 25/1 on Newcastle making it happen again could be very lucrative indeed.
Over 4.5 total goals is a 9/2 shot for the televised kick-off.
Plus, don’t forget you can get Double Your Odds if your 1st Goalscorer selection scores in the opening 25 minutes!*
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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