Premier League

Everton-Newcastle United Preview

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe called his team's league-leading defence "very pleasing" ahead of the visit of Everton to St James' Park on Wednesday.

No Premier League team has conceded fewer than Newcastle's nine so far this campaign, with the Magpies sitting a healthy sixth in the table after an impressive start to the season.

Howe is ecstatic about his side's defensive resilience, telling reporters: "It's very pleasing.

"It's a compliment to the players and their mentality to defending. We want to defend as a team from the striker back to the goalkeeper and you can see that when we play. The collective ambition is to be good in and out of possession."

Newcastle's solid defence will likely prove a tricky test for Frank Lampard's Everton, with the Toffees scoring the fourth fewest goals in the Premier League as they have won just two of their opening 10 matches this campaign.

And Lampard acknowledged it will be a difficult game on Wednesday, saying: "It'll be tough.

"Newcastle are a robust, hard-working team, I admire that. We have that as well but we're steps behind of where Newcastle are.

"We're optimistic but we just have to keep going. This game is a tough match, tough crowd, big atmosphere, let's show character there."

Newcastle will be without £58million signing Alexander Isak, who suffered a thigh injury while training with Sweden during the international break.

"We don't think we'll see [Isak] again before the World Cup," Howe added. "[It is] very frustrating for him.

"It's been frustrating because he did a lot of work to get fit but it's a difficult one with muscle injuries. He's desperate to make his mark here."

Newcastle United - Callum Wilson

Wilson has scored six in his last four Premier League games against Everton, and the Toffees must be fearful of the striker haunting them again with another goal here.

Everton - Alex Iwobi

Iwobi leads Everton in goal involvements so far this season, scoring once and registering three assists. Can he add to that tally against the Magpies?

- After a run of eight wins in nine Premier League games against Newcastle between 2013 and 2018, Everton have won just two of their subsequent eight against the Magpies (two draws, four defeats).

- Newcastle have won two of their last three Premier League games on a Wednesday (lost one), having won just one of their previous 24 such fixtures beforehand (five draws, 18 defeats).

- Newcastle have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League home games (nine wins, five defeats), and are looking to remain unbeaten in their first six of a season at St James' Park for the first time since 2011-12.

- Since the start of last season, Everton have lost more Premier League away games than any other side (15), while they have also won fewer on the road (three) than anyone else in that time (excluding promoted/relegated teams).

- Newcastle's Kieran Trippier has created more chances than any other defender in the Premier League this season (22), while he has also created more chances from set plays than any player overall in the competition (14).

Updated October 18, 2022

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