Paul Merson has been previewing the game at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
A balanced report apart from the fact that he doesn’t even mention Newcastle until the very last word.
Instead, Merson just talks about Everton – their form, their performance and result at Anfield on Sunday and in particular, Jordan Pickford.
Paul Merson says that the former Sunderland player is a ‘good goalkeeper’ but he has been ‘an accident waiting to happen’ when you look at previous games.
Whilst it was a pretty shocking mistake in such an important match for the blue half of Merseyside, it is also true that only four PL teams have conceded less than Pickford and his defence this season.
As for the outcome of Wednesday’s game, Paul Merson says ‘I can see them having too much for Newcastle’ and predicts a 2-0 home win.
Whilst outsiders/neutrals tend to want to ignore the disparity in resources, Newcastle fans are all too aware of the challenge Rafa Benitez faces due to Mike Ashley undermining him in the transfer market.
On Saturday, West Ham’s front three (Arnautovic, Hernandez and Anderson) cost twice as much as Newcastle’s entire starting eleven
Whilst on Sunday, two different Everton players (Sigurdsson and Richarlison) each cost more than Newcastle’s team against West Ham.
On top of that, at Anfield they had a £20m+ striker in unused sub Cenk Tosun, whilst Rafa’s man hope of goals is a case of relying on loan signing Salomon Rondon.
People talk about the haves and the have nots often in relation to the ‘big six’ and the rest.
For Rafa Benitez and the Newcastle fans, the likes of Everton, Leicester, West Ham, Bournemouth and numerous others are spending sums on players that Rafa can only dream about. Since promotion to the Premier League, Mike Ashley has refused to allow his manager to spend more than £10m on any signing.
It will be very much against the odds (and resources) if Newcastle pull off a result here.
Paul Merson talking to Sky Sports:
“Everton were really good against Liverpool but the error from Jordan Pickford was an accident waiting to happen.
“It was only a matter of time before because he’s got away with a few errors recently.
“He’s a good goalkeeper and a good shot stopper, but it’s the concentration.
“There’s got to be something wrong his concentration.
“Top, top goalkeepers don’t do anything for 90 minutes but then they are called into action and just make a save.
“That’s what separates the great goalkeepers from the good ones because they can all shot stop. I’m not sure what he was thinking and it’s down to concentration levels.
“We saw it with England in Spain and we’ve seen on it on another couple of occasions but he’s got away with it.
“He didn’t get away with it at Liverpool and it’s not because he’s not a good goalkeeper, he just needs to work on his concentration.
“Looking at the team though, I was really impressed with their performance at Anfield and I can see them having too much for Newcastle.
“Prediction is Everton 2 Newcastle 0.”