Newcastle United travel to Goodison Park on Wednesday night, with Magpies’ head coach Steve McClaren hoping that an influx of new signings can inspire his relegation-threatened side to their third away victory of the season.
Newcastle ended the January transfer window as the Premier League’s top spenders, with Mike Ashley pouring a whopping £30million into new signings Jonjo Shelvey, Henri Saivet, Andros Townsend and Seydou Doumbia to ensure that the Magpies have the necessary personnel to stave off the looming threat of relegation.
In his pre-match press conference, McClaren stated his belief that there is now enough quality amongst the Magpies’ ranks for them to beat the drop over the remaining 15 games of the season, and, with over £80million spent on new signings since his arrival in the summer, the former England manager will have no excuses if his side fail to pull away from the bottom three between now and May 15th.
Roberto Martinez’ Everton side have also joined Newcastle in flattering to deceive this season. A return of just one win in their last 10 games – which coincidentally came at St James’ Park via Tom Cleverley’s last minute header – has led to unrest amongst the Toffees’ faithful, with many fans questioning how the erudite Spaniard is struggling to push on up the table with what is arguably the most talented Everton squad of the past decade.
The game promises to be an exciting one for Magpies’ fans, with £12million signing Andros Townsend set to come straight into the starting XI after completing a full week of training with his new black-and-white teammates, although deadline day signing Seydou Doumbia is ‘touch and go’ for the trip to Merseyside as he awaits his working visa.
With a majority of Newcastle’s relegation rivals taking to the field on Tuesday night, the 18th placed Magpies’ precarious league position could be even more harrowing come 7.45pm on Wednesday, and McClaren’s men must go for the jugular against a porous Everton side that have conceded 10 goals in their last four home games.
Ahead of the game, we decided to construct a combined XI of players from Newcastle and Everton.
The formation is 4-2-3-1.