Newcastle vs Everton preview: Sean Longstaff out for Magpies
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Last Updated: 09/03/19 8:03am
Newcastle will be without Sean Longstaff for the visit of Everton on Saturday after the 21-year-old damaged ligaments in his knee.
The midfielder had caught the eye in recent months with some superb performances but is now expected to miss the remainder of the season through injury.
Manager Rafael Benitez said: "When you have an injury in the team it's always bad news, when it's a young player it's even worse. Talking with him he's fine mentally, he's strong.
"He said: 'Now I have to start working'. He has taken it really well with his approach. Nobody expected him to play so well for us. It is a pity for him and for us, but he will be fine for the future.
"Everton is another final for us. We did well at Goodison Park, we played well, but they have good players and it will be a tough, tough game. The team is playing well, the fans are supporting the players and the atmosphere has been positive. The passion is helping us."
Everton have done well over the last 10 days - beating Cardiff and drawing with local rivals Liverpool - and manager Marco Silva is pleased with the performances.
"It was a good week for us, there are no doubts about that. It would have been perfect if we could have achieved the six points. We got an important away win, and then a draw in a tough home match with the derby," he said.
"They are always a solid team. They are very strong in their defensive organisation. They do not concede many goals and they are really strong in the counter-attack, too. We will have to do our best and give everything to win the match.
"We have to look for each match as a final, like we did against Cardiff and in the derby. We have to do our maximum to achieve the three points and do everything to finish in a good way and in a good place in the table. Everything is open for us."
Alongside Longstaff, Rob Elliot and Ciaran Clark will also be missing for Newcastle on Saturday.
Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka will be sidelined for the weekend's trip, but Marco Silva will have a fully fit squad to choose from otherwise.
Newcastle have won just one of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Everton (D2 L9), winning 3-2 at St James' Park in December 2014.
Everton have won four of their last five away Premier League games against Newcastle (L1), including the last two in a row. They've never won three consecutively away against the Magpies in the top-flight.
No Premier League fixture has seen more penalty goals than Newcastle vs Everton (18). Indeed, of the 52 fixtures in the competition to have seen at least 100 goals, this one has seen the highest percentage scored from the spot (14.2% - 18/127).
Newcastle have won their last four Premier League home games, by an aggregate score of 9-1. They've not won more consecutively at St James' Park since a run of five between April-August 2006.
Everton have won two of their last three away league games (L1), as many as they had in their previous 12 (W2 D3 L7). They've not won consecutive league games on the road since September 2016.
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has failed to win his last three meetings with Everton in the Premier League (D1 L2). He'd only failed to win four of his first 14 against the Toffees in the competition (W10 D2 L2).
Everton's Theo Walcott has been involved in more Premier League goals against Newcastle than he has against any other opponent in the competition (5 goals, 5 assists).
Richarlison's 10 Premier League goals this season have been worth 11 points to Everton - only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's strikes have been more valuable for his team (14).
January signing Miguel Almiron is creating three chances per 90 minutes on average for his teammates, more than any other Newcastle player.
Everton have set a standard now. Their kept a clean sheet against Liverpool and didn't really look like letting in a goal - it wasn't like the goalie was man of the match, he made a couple of saves but nothing big. Newcastle will be strong at home with their front three and I think Everton will relax away from home and have a go so I'm going for plenty of goals.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-2 (16/1 with Sky Bet)