Newcastle United have a home game against Everton on Saturday, and the Magpies will look to bounce back after their loss against West Ham United.
Rafa Benitez’s side haven’t performed badly in recent weeks, and the defeat against West Ham shouldn’t affect their confidence too much as they have managed to open up a gap between themselves and the relegation zone.
The Toffees, meanwhile, have been inconsistent this season, and you never really know which Everton side will turn up when you’re facing them.
Ahead of the game, we take a look at three player battles the Magpies need to win to beat Everton.
Matt Ritchie vs Seamus Coleman
Seamus Coleman has a decent game against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby as more often than not, he prevented Andy Robertson from offering a threat on the left flank.
Against Newcastle, he is likely to come up against Matt Ritchie who has provided an outlet on the left.
Ritchie has managed 1.6 key passes on an average per game, and has four assists so far this season. With Salomon Rondon in the box, the Scot has someone to pick out, and if he can get past Coleman, expect a good delivery into the box.
Salomon Rondon vs the Everton centre-halves
Everton have improved defensively of late, as they have managed two back to back clean sheets and shut out a good Liverpool attack last weekend.
Rondon will be up against the duo of Will Keane and Kurt Zouma, who are strong in the air, and it’s likely to be an intriguing battle between the Venezuelan and the two Everton defenders.
Rondon’s finishing has been iffy in recent weeks, but at his best, he’s a tough player to mark.
The Newcastle midfield vs the Newcastle midfield
The Magpies will be without Sean Longstaff who picked up an injury against West Ham and will not be available, but in Mo Diame, they have a good replacement.
Diame is expected to line up alongside Isaac Hayden, and together, the two will have to neutralise Gylfi Sigurdsson is the most in-form Everton attacker at the moment.
Sigurdsson has managed at least two shots a game on an average, and he likes testing the ‘keeper. The Iceland international has also managed 11 goals this season, so he’ll be a big threat come Saturday.
Stats via Whoscored