Everton v Newcastle, Tottenham v West Ham: Premier League – live

Key events

14 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle … but his free-kick is too close to Pickford, who holds comfortably to his left.

13 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle After a stiff start, Newcastle are coming into the game. The brilliant Tino Livramento slaoloms to the edge of the area and is fouled by Gueye. This is a chance for the other full-back, Kieran Trippier…

“Why do we need to get excited about the nonsenses of xG when actual goals provide just as much nonsense,” says Richard Hirst. “Man City are only three points ahead of their silent neighbours, but their goal difference is +19 to United’s 0; how can this make sense? Btw, before last night’s Fulham game I Whatsapped my daughter to say that I felt unusually optimistic, and blamed the wine. Can I claim at least one assist for the 5-0?”

On the first point, I give you Norwich City and Blackburn Rovers in 1992-93. Blackburn beating Norwich 7-1 accounted for almost half the goal-difference disparity.

7 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle McNeil’s corner is headed wide by Branthwaite, who get up early but was under pressure – and on his way down – by the time he made contact.

7 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle Anthony Gordon is getting booed, as you’d expect after his acrimonious departure from Goodison.

Everton are on top at the moment. Gueye has another shot blocked, then Young’s rising drive deflects behind off Livramento.

4 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle Young and Gueye have shots from the edge of the area blocked in the space of a couple of seconds. Everton have started quite well.

“Are you all talking about Christmas already?” writes Krishnamoorthy V. “What are you drinking? [I’M NOT BLOODY DRINKING ANYTHING, EVERYONE ELSE IS AT THE GUARDIAN SPORT CHRISTMAS PARTY!] Before the games really get going tonight , may I slip in a WOW towards Unai Emery. Arsenal’s loss is Aston Villa’s gain (even though the former is quite happy with Arteta now). The weekend clash between the two is going to be a lot of fun.”

Interesting that City and Arsenal have the same two fixtures this week. The order definitely suits Arsenal, as Villa will do well to repeat that performance 72 hours later.

Trading Paces
Exclusive photo from the Guardian sport christmas party. Photograph: Landmark Media/Alamy

2 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle Ashley Young has started on the right wing, with Jack Harrison as the No10 and Abdoulaye Doucoure playing a bit deeper.

These are the revised teams.

Everton (4-2-3-1) Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Doucoure, Gueye; Young, Harrison, McNeil; Calvert-Lewin.
Substitutes: Joao Virginia, Patterson, Keane, Godfrey, Hunt, Danjuma, Beto, Chermiti, Dobbin.

Newcastle (4-1-2-3) Dubravka; Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento; Bruno Guimaraes; Miley, Joelinton; Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Substitutes: Karius, Gillespie, Dummett, Krafth, Hall, Murphy, Ritchie, Diallo, Parkinson.

1 min: Everton 0-0 Newcastle Peep peep! Newcastle kick off from left to right as we watch.

“G’day Rob,” writes our Georgie Down Under, Chris Paraskevas. “Appreciate your dedication in foregoing the G-Sport Xmas Party. You’ve done yourself a favour, though: the Xmas Party has assumed an almost a mythological status in Australian work culture, as a place where even the slightest individual error is magnified, causing embarrassment, pain, introspection, defiance and anger.

“It’s probably not dissimilar to the mood at Goodison Park, which represents a very different assignment for Newcastle to the glamour of a trip to Paris. I fear Eddie Howe’s side may run out of reserves (literally) tonight but they somehow keep finding a way… what an incredible job he’s done.”

He’s been genuinely brilliant, particularly in the way he has restored the club’s identity. That said, I still fear Newcastle will seek a perceived upgrade at the first sign of real trouble. I hope not.

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham team news

Two changes for Spurs from the stirring draw at the Etihad on Sunday. Cristian Romero, back after suspension, replaces Emerson Royal in defence. And Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who came on at half-time for Bryan Gil, keeps his place – presumably to guard against West Ham’s counter-attacks.

West Ham also make two changes. Kurt Zouma, who missed the draw with Crystal Palace after a traumatic burglary at his home on Saturday, replaces Konstantinos Mavropanos at centre-back. The goalkeeper Alphonse Areola is injured, so Lukasz Fabianski comes in.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1) Vicario; Pedro Porro, Romero, Davies, Udogie; Bissouma, Hojbjerg; Kulusevski, Lo Celso, Johnson; Son.
Substitutes: Forster, Emerson Royal, Dorrington, Skipp, Sarr, Richarlison, Gil, Veliz, Donley.

West Ham United (possible 4-2-3-1) Fabianski; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez, Ward-Prowse; Kudus, Soucek, Paqueta; Bowen.
Substitutes: Anang, Cresswell, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Kehrer, Fornals, Ings, Benrahma, Mubama.

Referee Michael Salisbury.

“You mentioned Christmas first,” is Scott Blair’s opening gambit. “Two reasons for suggesting this. First, it’s the incomparable Warren Zevon not taking Walking in a Winter Wonderland entirely seriously; and second it’s a tune that’s been appropriated for many a football chant over the years.

“My favourite was the one Celtic supporters coined for Mark Viduka, but the second line is possibly a bit sexist for the Guardian, so if anyone is motivated enough to research further, the Jorge Cadete version is probably safer.”

Are you trying to get me sacked? On today of all days?

“Evening!” chirps William Preston, generously attaching a picture of a pint in what likes like an extremely warm pub. “I think the Everton game is going to be a corker. They simply have to get an early festive stomp on and show the magpies that there’s only partridges, turtle doves, french hens, geese, and swans in the festive football season. Goodison Park requires the thrilling heroics missing for so long. Have a super party!”

Was that last sentence meant for the global Guardian Sport address or are just rubbing salt into my social wounds?

“My main issue with xG,” begins the ghost of Brian Clough Niall Mullen, “is that if you look at a typical xG table then the teams at the top consistently seem to do better than their xG and the teams at he bottom consistently do worse. It’s like the xG isn’t measuring some crucial element of the game. If I had to hazard a guess as to the missing piece it would probably be the quality of the players.”

That’s a shrewd observation. It’d be interesting to watch a match with somebody who is doing the xG. My hunch (and that’s all it is) is that it would turn me into Gareth Keenan.

“There are some who find xG to be a complete waste of time, being of the position that actual goals are all that matters,” wrties Matt Burtz. “Others, myself included, find it to be at least somewhat instructive as to the relative merits of particular teams. By that measure Newcastle are the second best team in the Premier League, which isn’t entirely unexpected. What might be surprising is that Everton are ninth, ahead of the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham, and West Ham. And the thing is that watching them backs this up.

“Their 3-0 loss to Manchester United was hardly a demolition; in fact, Everton won the xG battle, they just didn’t convert their chances. They’ve also conceded the same number of goals as Aston Villa (who have played one more game). All of this is what leads me to think that Everton aren’t going down, even if the full ten-point deduction stays in place. Their away form has improved drastically and while they might not get any points tonight against a strong Newcastle side, things aren’t as bleak as they seem at Goodison.”

My only issues with xG are that a) we take the methodology on trust, b) we treat it as an exact science when it isn’t and c) sometimes it’s used to inform an argument rather than support it. I agree it’s a good guide, though, and this year’s table reinforces what the eyes have been telling us all season: Everton almost certainly won’t go down.

Everton v Newcastle team news: Coleman starts

Seven months after suffering what looked like a career-ending injury, the Everton captain Seamus Coleman returns to the starting line-up. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is also back from injury, so Beto drops out. James Garner is unwell, so the vintage Swiss Army knife known to most as Ashley Young will play in the centre of midfield.

Newcastle are down to the bare bones, so their only change is enforced: Martin Dubravka replaces Nick Pope in goal.

Everton (possible 4-2-3-1) Pickford; Coleman, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Young, Gueye; Harrison, Doucoure, McNeil; Calvert-Lewin.
Substitutes: Joao Virginia, Patterson, Keane, Godfrey, Hunt, Danjuma, Beto, Chermiti, Dobbin.

Newcastle (4-1-2-3) Dubravka; Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento; Bruno Guimaraes; Miley, Joelinton; Almiron, Isak, Gordon.
Substitutes: Karius, Gillespie, Dummett, Krafth, Hall, Murphy, Ritchie, Diallo, Parkinson.

Referee Tim Robinson.


If the Premier League be the food of love, play o- oh never mind, we’re getting an excess of it whether we like it or not. A slap-up three-course matchweek, with all 10 games shown live in the UK, concludes with tonight’s dessert: Everton v Newcastle and Tottenham v West Ham.

All four teams have an obvious incentive to win. Everton can move out of the bottom three; Newcastle can jump to fifth. Spurs can’t go higher than fifth, their current position, but a win would move them level on points with mini-crisis club Manchester City. And West Ham… okay West Ham will end the night in ninth whatever happens, and they can’t go level with any teams above them, but victory over their beloathed Spurs is an end in itself.

The games are staggered, with Everton v Newcastle kicking off at 7.30pm and Spurs v West Ham at 8.15pm. It’s the Guardian Sport Xmas party tonight, so you’re on your own, you can follow the Live Scores page, there’s a pint of Lagunitas with ma name on it let’s show them what they’re missing, eh? Eh?



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