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    Newcastle United vs Everton Preview. Who will be given the chance to spread festive cheer on Tyneside following Cisse's injury?

    By Ryan Carter. Twitter: @TheRyanJCarter.

    NEWCASTLE’S forwards will all be hoping manager Steve McClaren will gift them with a place in the starting XI this Boxing Day, as they prepare to face-off against Everton this weekend.

    Papiss Cisse has featured regularly in the Magpies side in recent games, but the Senegalese striker is likely to be ruled out of Saturday’s game with a groin injury.

    With a place in the team potentially up for grabs for one of the Newcastle Number Nine’s teammates, McClaren could have a tough choice to make to decide who will play up front against Everton.

    The Toon boss has expressed his faith in Siem De Jong in recent weeks and the Dutchman is expected to keep his place in the Magpies’ line-up, even if he loses his striker partner to injury.

    If Cisse does miss out, McClaren is likely to choose between either Ayoze Perez or Aleksandar Mitrovic to partner De Jong, despite recalling young forward Ivan Toney from his loan spell at Barnsley.

    Perez is second only to Gini Wijnaldum when it comes to scoring goals for the North East side this season, having found the back of the net four times this campain.

    But with De Jong preferring to play off a forward in a ‘Number 10’ role, it may be better to pair the former Ajax star with a strong forward like Mitrovic instead of the small exciting Spaniard.

    Whoever gets the nod ahead of the game, they will face a tough test in Everton, who have been in inspiring form as of late.

    Roberto Martinez’ team were on an eight-game unbeaten run before losing to table-topping Leicester City last weekend.

    The Toffees will go into their Boxing Day fixture confident of getting back to their winning ways however, as they have fared well against Newcastle in recent years.

    Everton have won four of their last five games against the Magpies, but the one game they failed to win in that time saw the Toon Army claim a 3-2 victory in their first home fixture after Christmas.

    One player who has performed well in those last five fixtures is Romelu Lukaku, with the forward grabbing four goals in his last four meetings with Newcastle.

    The Belgian forward been impressive in a season which has seen him grab 16 goals in all competitions and Lukaku is currently on a goal-scoring run which has seen the striker find the back of the net in eight successive games.

    But Newcastle will be looking to continue their own good form, which has seen them go undefeated throughout the month of December.

    If Cisse is unable to play, he will be joined on the sidelines by teammates Mike Williamson, Massadio Haidara, Rolando Aarons, Tim Krul, Gabriel Obertan, Steven Taylor and Emmanuel Riviere.

    But there is some good news for Newcastle, as the team welcomes young defender Jamal Lascelles back from a hamstring injury.

    Everton have injury concerns of their own, as a number of their key players are unlikely to make the game at St James’ Park, including captain Phil Jagielka, Bryan Oviedo, James McCarthy, Steven Pienaar and Tony Hibbert.

    But there may be good news for Toffee fans, as striker Steven Naismith could make a return from the sidelines.

    This fixture is set up to be an exciting Christmas Cracker, with both teams showing they are more than capable of playing good football this season.

    Expect goals, expect a close contest and most importantly, expect a great game of football to top off a great Christmas for all you Premier League fans. Merry Christmas Premier League Preview fans!

    Score Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Everton.
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    Item Reviewed: Newcastle United vs Everton Preview. Who will be given the chance to spread festive cheer on Tyneside following Cisse's injury? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ryan Carter
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