Everton have received a boost ahead of Thursday night’s game against Newcastle as Allan Saint-Maximin has been ruled out through injury by Magpies manager Eddie Howe.
The £16.5m attacker has missed the last three Newcastle games with a hamstring injury, and Howe states that Thursday’s fixture at Goodison Park is ‘too early’ for the 26-year-old.
Howe also stated that Swiss defender Fabian Schar may be unavailable as the Newcastle squad have got a ‘couple of knocks’ ahead of Thursday night’s fixture.
Speaking with the Northern Echo, Howe said: “I think Everton will be too early for Maxi. With Fabian, I don’t know how he is yet. We’ve got a couple of knocks in there.”
Everton go into the game slumped in the relegation zone but a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday could be considered a point gained for the Toffees as Roy Hodgson’s side had won three on the spin going into the game.
Newcastle meanwhile demolished Spurs 6-1 at St James’ Park on Sunday afternoon and were 5-0 up after just 21 minutes in what was a breakneck start to the game.
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Saint-Maximin injury a boost to Everton, but lack of goals is still main issue
Saint-Maximin’s absence will be welcome news to Sean Dyche’s side who must get something out of the fixture as the fight for Premier League survival gathers pace.
Newcastle’s visit to Goodison Park on Thursday is one of Everton’s three remaining home fixtures, with the Blues also set to welcome Manchester City next month and fellow strugglers Bournemouth on the final game of the season.
The visitors will be looking to secure Champions League qualification and currently occupy third place in the league table, with a superior goal difference keeping them above Manchester United.
Indeed, Everton are the lowest goalscorers in the division as it stands, and so will need to find their scoring boots ahead of Thursday night’s clash.