Everton suffered their first setback of the season at Southampton on Sunday but still sit top of the Premier League.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have two more matches until the November international break; a trip to Newcastle followed by the visit of Manchester United.
What can the Toffees expect to get from those two games? We asked former Everton goalkeeper Nigel Martyn during an exclusive chat and he said a minimum of four points should be the target.
He also outlined why the fear factor surrounding the Red Devils isn’t what it was during his career, hinting that Everton are more than capable of winning that clash at Goodison Park.
“Newcastle, with the start that Everton have got, you’d be thinking that’s three points,” Martyn said. “That’s how you’ve got to aim.
“If you’re going to have serious ambitions of staying in the top six, it’s a game you’ve got to win. (Everton) are missing important players – Digne, Richarlison, Coleman – but definitely Newcastle, you’d be looking to try and win that.
“Man United, people always have the fear of playing Man United because of what they’ve been, but this current team aren’t in a very confident place. They’ve got some good players, and could really hurt you on any given day, but they’re not playing with that confidence at the moment.
“So if Everton can win that Newcastle game, that’ll give them the confidence. Realistically, if you got four points from those two games, you’d be happy but I just think Everton might be looking for more.”
Everton have lost just two of their last 15 meetings with Newcastle, dating back to 2012, but last time the sides met, the Magpies scored two stoppage time goals to rescue a 2-2 draw from nothing.
Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping his side can banish those memories against a side who have won just twice so far this season.
As for Manchester United, they have won on just two of their last seven visits to Goodison Park.
Both league matches between the sides last season ended in 1-1 draws, but Everton are a different prospect this term and they should have their sights set on a home win which would represent another major statement of their intent.