- Newcastle are unbeaten in three
- Everton’s Lukaku has scored in 8 straight
- Only Sunderland have conceded more than Newcastle
Romelu Lukaku looks to extend his goalscoring streak to nine matches, as Everton travel to St. James’ Park for a Boxing Day clash against Newcastle United (Watch live, Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra).
The last Everton player to score in nine straight matches was the legendary Dixie Dean, way back in 1927.
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Everton had their eight-match unbeaten run snapped with a loss against Leicester last weekend, as Roberto Martinez’s men will look to get back on track against a Newcastle side hovering just above the drop. Romelu Lukaku has been the man for the Toffees this season, currently second in the league with 13 goals. Not only has he been on a tear as of late, but he also has a fine record against Newcastle. In his six career matches against the Magpies, the big Belgian has grabbed five goals and four assists.
For Newcastle, a draw against Aston Villa will be looked at as a disappointment, but after taking seven points out of nine over their past three matches, the Magpies have climbed out of the relegation zone. Defensive problems have hurt the club this season, as they have conceded 32 goals and dropped a league-worst 12 points from winning positions. Striker Papiss Cisse is doubtful to play after picking up a groin problem against Villa.
What they’re saying
Newcastle manager Steve McClaren on facing Everton: “They are a very good team with good players and a real balance to the side as well. They lost to Leicester last time out but, other than that, they are in good form and are usually a hard team to beat. Roberto Martinez has done a terrific job in the three seasons he’s been there and they are a really tough side for any team.”
Everton boss Roberto Martinez on Lukaku’s form: “For Romelu to be hitting incredible records and landmarks for this football club is a remarkable achievement. But it doesn’t really matter if he achieves records or not. What is important is he takes his incredible scoring form into the second half of the season and remains consistent in helping us achieve our aims.”
Both of these sides have had their defensive struggles, but Everton has more firepower on the attack, which is why I’ll go with a win for the visitors. It’s hard to imagine Newcastle slowing down Lukaku, who looks like a lock to score in his ninth straight. Newcastle United 1-2 Everton.