Everton host Newcastle United on Monday night and it should prove to be the game of the weekend. The Toffees have won two of their three opening games while Newcastle United have won one, drawn one and lost one.
I've taken a look in the history books and selected four of the biggest games between the two sides in recent years.
EVERTON 4 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
1988 FIRST DIVISION
In the summer of 1988 Everton broke the British transfer record. The Toffees signed West Ham's deadly striker Tony Cottee. The diminutive striker was an instant hit at Upton Park. In 1983 the teenager scored on his Hammers' debut.
Two years later West Ham signed Frank McAvennie and the pair went on to form a lethal partnership. They couldn't stop scoring during the 1985/86
season and the Hammers finished third in the First Division. This remains
the Irons' highest league finish.
After 63 goals in 212 games Cottee was lured to Goodison Park. The Blues were still a potent force in English football. Under the guidance of Howard Kendall the Merseysiders had won four major trophies in three years. When Kendall departed for Atletico Madrid, his long time assistant Colin Harvey stepped into the hot seat.
Cottee made his Everton debut against Newcastle United on August 27 1988. The new boy made a dream start. Everton attacked from the kick-off. Graeme Sharpe's shot was parried by Dave Beasent, the rebound fell perfectly for Cottee who calmly slotted home. The goal was timed at 34 seconds. The new Gwladys Street hero doubled his account before half time. Peter Reid's precise through ball was neatly dispatched by the debutant.
Cottee completed his hat-trick in the second half. The marksman rounded Dave Beasent and planted the ball into the empty net. Strike partner Sharpe added a fourth with another close range finish. Cottee went on to become a fans' favourite scoring 72 goals in his four years on Merseyside. Despite this excellent strike rate Everton failed to add to their bulging trophy cabinet.
EVERTON 1 NEWCASTLE UNITED 3
1995 FA PREMIER LEAGUE
This victory earmarked Newcastle United as title contenders. Kevin Keegan's side were admired throughout the country. Their attractive brand of football saw them labelled 'The Entertainers' by sections of the media. The Toon's forward line included Peter Beardsley, David Ginola and Les Ferdinand. These supremely talented players were given licence to express themselves by Keegan.
Newcastle were top of the league after a stunning start to the season. In October they faced Joe Royle's Everton at Goodison. The Toffees were also enjoying an upturn in form. The Merseyside
club had won the FA Cup the previous season and were once again a force
to be reckoned with. Newcastle were undaunted and were determined to stamp their mark on the encounter.
On 11 minutes the visitors made the breakthrough. Ferdinand rampaged through the heart of the Everton defence before thumping a low drive past Neville Southall. The strike was a typical Sir Les goal. Ferdinand had enjoyed a meteoric
rise to fame. Only eight years ago the striker had been playing non-league football for Hayes. His career really took off after donning the
hooped shirt of Queens Park Rangers. Ferdinand scored 80 goals in 163
In the summer of 1995 the Londoner joined Newcastle for £6 million. Les Ferdinand's early goal put Keegan's
men in the driving seat. A Rob Lee penalty made it two approaching
the hour mark. The victory was confirmed when Paul Kitson added a third. Anders Limpar's 81st minute goal was scant consolation for the home side.
EVERTON 3 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
2006 FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Not many Manchester United players have captured the hearts of Evertionian, but Phil Neville certainly belongs in that select group. The left back made his name at Old Trafford
where he was part of Sir Alex Ferguson's all conquering side. Despite
the success Neville was often overshadowed by brother Gary. At
times Phil Neville was heavily criticised by sections of the media.
In the 2000 European Championship
the Bury-born defender was blamed for England's early exit. The Three
Lions needed just a point from their final group game to reach the quarter-finals. It looked mission accomplished when Michael Owen grabbed a late equaliser against Romania. Then in the last minute Neville hastily upended Viorel Moldavan. The former Coventry City striker tumbled to the ground and the referee pointed to the spot. Ionel Ganea gleefully dispatched the penalty to put England out.
In 2005 Neville joined Everton for £3.5 million. It didn't take long for Neville to justify David Moyes' decision. His tough tackling and surging runs made him a firm favourite at Goodison Park. The left back was also a provider of goals. His high quality crosses were often headed home by Tim Cahill
and company. However, Neville was hardly prolific in front of
goal. He had scored just five goals in 250 games for Manchester
A year into his Everton career Neville hadn't put his name on the scoresheet. The drought was finally over when the Toon Army visited Goodison. The home side survived an early scare when Obefami Martins ballooned his penalty over the bar. The miss proved costly when a Victor Anichebe brace put Everton two up. With three
points in the bag, Neville put the cherry on the cake. In the 62 minute the home side were awarded a free- kick. The ball was played into Neville whose shot bamboozled Shay Given. The Irishman was stranded as the ball looped over his head and into the net. At long last Phil Neville had broken his
EVERTON 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
2010 FA PREMIER LEAGUE
After a season in the Championship Newcastle United were ready to prove a point to the Premier League. Under the watchful guise of Chris Hughton, Newcastle United signed Hatem Ben Arfa. The French winger joined on a season long loan from Lyon. The new look Toon quickly adapted to life amongst the elite. Aston Villa were hammered 6-1 at St James' and the Toon were in good shape as they made the trip to Merseyside.
side had made their usual slow start to the season. The Toffees had
collected just two points from their first two games, but few were
fooled by the bleak statistic. Few visiting teams emerged from Goodison Park victorous.
Newcastle started in positive fashion with Wayne Routledge spurning an early chance, the winger heading wide in the ninth minute. The visitors made the breakthrough just before half-time. Routledge saw Ben Arfa just inside the Everton half. The 23-year-old wide man strode forward and tried his luck from distance. The 25-yarder flew past Tim Howard and into the net. Everton
had a couple of chances to equalise but could have few complaints about
the final result.
The Premier League record between the two sides reads like this: