NEWCASTLE host Everton on Sunday afternoon. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) is on-hand to preview the match-up .
Newcastle vs Everton | Sunday 1st November 2020, 14:00 | Sky Sports
Everton lost their first league game of the season last weekend as they were soundly beaten by Southampton, a defeat compounded by the second half dismissal of Lucas Digne, who as a result will miss this trip to the north-east.
It will be interesting to see what Carlo Ancelotti will consider a good result here and how his team react to that defeat in the absence of all first-choice full backs, as well as the sizeable holes left by the injured James Rodriguez and suspended Richarlison.
Newcastle have a lengthy injury list of their own – but if key players such as summer signing Callum Wilson, who has already found the net four times in six league appearances, and Allan Saint-Maximin are in good form, they must really fancy their chances of springing a surprise at odds of 27/10 (Matchbook).
Regular readers of my WLB previews will be used to me talking about the “perfect storm” in fixtures – a side who win plenty of spot kicks with a referee who has a reputation for awarding them for example.
Well I think we may have a perfect storm brewing here at St James’ Park.
As already mentioned, the Toffees have selection issues in both full back positions with new signing Ben Godfrey filling in at right back against the Saints and he will be expected to do so again.
Just three seasons ago (2017/18) Norwich loaned the then 19-year-old out to League One side Shrewsbury where he earned rave reviews for his performances in his usual CDM role.
Daniel Farke had other ideas however and insisted, luckily for the Canaries and their bank manager, that Godfrey was a ball playing modern centre back – the rest is history after a promotion, England U21 cap and captaincy, relegation swiftly followed by a return back to the top-flight with the Goodison Park club.
His likely direct opponent will be the aforementioned Saint-Maximin – who on his day can cause the best full back to have nightmares, turning them inside out.
ASM rates second in the English Premier League with an average of 3.6 dribbles per-game only just behind Adama Traore, while tellingly he is also second only to Sadio Mane as most fouled with a match average again of 3.6.
Although not regularly cautioned, Godfrey is a fully committed player who loves to win the ball from his opponents and may find it hard to resist attempting to do so against the slaloming French wideman. He was sent off last season when trying to do just that against – Callum Wilson.
Who is the man in the middle? That would be Stuart Attwell, who has taken charge of three EPL games so far this season distributing 18 yellow cards and 1 red, which sits him right at the top of the referee statistics with an average of 6 cautions per-game, plus that sending off.
Attwell has also officiated one Championship fixture this season, putting five names in the book when Norwich hosted Derby.
One of those three EPL games actually featured the Magpies, when the Manchester-based whistleblower carded four players in their visit to West Ham, two for each side, one of which was Hammers right back Ryan Fredericks for a foul on, you guessed it, Saint-Maximin!
So there we have it a CB converted CDM playing RB against one of the most prolific dribblers in the league who suffers on average the second highest number of fouls per-game being officiated by the referee who has shown the most cards in the league…is that thunder I can hear!?
Unbelievably, Godfrey is 5/1 to be carded and 66/1 to see red with Bet365.
Michael Fish, John Kettley, Wincey Willis – move over there’s a new forecaster in town and Wrighty is predicting a Perfect Storm on Tyneside…even if I am showing my age in doing so…