Tuesday, March 28

Everton vs. Newcastle: Expect Toffees’ Offensive Woes to Continue

Everton vs. Newcastle Odds

Everton Odds +135
Newcastle Odds +220
Draw +210
Over/Under 2.5 (-110 / -130)
Day | Time Thursday | 3:45 p.m. ET
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Odds updated as of Thursday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Relegation-threatened Everton will be desperate for just its second Premier League win under manager Frank Lampard when it hosts a Newcastle United side that appears to have escaped its own danger of the drop.

While Lampard’s men have had some promising home performances — mostly in FA Cup action — the Toffees have lost five out of six matches in the English top flight since he arrived on Merseyside.

Coincidentally, that began with a 3-1 loss in Newcastle in early February that marked the beginning of the Magpies’ own ascension from the danger zone under manager Eddie Howe.

The Everton victory was the second of six in Newcastle’s last eight matches. The Magpies were unlucky to be beaten late in a 1-0 loss at Chelsea this past Sunday, but still entered the midweek on 31 points and nine clear of the bottom three in the table.

The Toffees are out of the drop zone only based on goal difference, sitting 17th on 22 points after their 1-0 home loss last weekend against Wolves.

Lampard Hasn’t Changed Much at Everton

Most Evertonians were at less skeptical of Lampard’s arrival than predecessor Rafa Benitez, given Benitez’s history with rivals Liverpool. However, the numbers show Lampard’s Everton have arguably been worse.

The Toffees have picked up only three points from the one-time Chelsea captain’s six matches in charge, against four points in Benitez’s last six games.

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The fixture list has been arguably tougher for Lampard, but he has also had more of his team healthy than Benitez had for most of his short reign.

Aside from a 3-0 home win over Leeds United, at a time when the visitors appeared to be losing confidence in their own manager Marcelo Bielsa, Everton have created shockingly little going forward. The Toffees have scored only once in Lampard’s other five league games, creating only 2.4 xG overall.

Everton’s xG difference per 90 minutes has sunk to -0.58 under Lampard, compared to -0.34 under Benitez. If you remove the Leeds match, the rate in the other games drops to -1.00 per 90 minutes.

If Lampard deserves any leeway, it’s because most of Everton’s winter transfer additions came prior to his arrival and likely without his input.

A shopping spree that included attacker Dele Alli and midfielder Donny van der Beek hasn’t made much impact. It’s also fair to wonder why there wasn’t more focus on the back line with Yerry Mina’s continued injury woes and Michael Keane’s poor form.

Newcastle Fights Way Out of Relegation

There have been two inflection points for Newcastle, as the club has more or less escaped relegation danger.

The first came with manager Howe’s appointment in November. The second came with the closing of the January transfer window and — notably — a rousing 3-1 home win over Everton to start February.

Overall since Howe’s debut in a 1-1 draw against Norwich City, Newcastle has earned 25 points in 15 matches and 1.67 points per contest, against a miserable six points in 13 matches and 0.46 per outing in the 13 matches prior.

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Since the close of the window, it’s been much better still. The Magpies have won five and drawn one in those seven games, and averaged an xG difference of +0.46 per 90 minutes.

Unlike Everton, Newcastle focused a good deal of their transfer window on defensive additions. In particular, Kieran Trippier and Matt Target have helped shore up a unit that was leaking goals even after Howe came on the scene.

Even the weekend loss to Chelsea was evidence of that, with Newcastle allowing only 0.8 xG across the encounter. Much of that game on Kai Havertz’s 90th-minute winner after a wonderful setup from Jorginho.

BJ Cunningham’s EPL Model Projections

Betting Analysis & Pick

This is a tricky game in some ways. The overall numbers across the season suggest bad fortune is as much to blame as bad play for Everton’s position.

Looking at the projections above from our own BJ Cunningham, you’d be led to believe Everton were the bargain here, in stereotypical “buy-low” territory.

However, seasons aren’t static and if you consider how much change each side has undergone this year, the period since New Year’s is a far better indication of who these clubs are right now.

If I was going to play the three-way line, I might lean toward Newcastle because of Everton’s tendency not to draw games, particularly at home.

However, what I feel most confident in is that Everton just doesn’t have many ideas on the offensive side of the pitch.

Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a shadow of his former self when he sees the field, and he’s a question after missing Sunday to illness.

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Lampard’s biggest impact seems to have been on Richarlison and it seems to have been negative. Under Benitez, Richarlison was one of only two consistent performers you could count on when healthy, along with academy product Anthony Gordon.

As for Evertonians hopeful this match will provide an emotional wake-up call? I’m not sure why it would when Sunday’s home game against Wolves did not.

That said, I’m playing a relatively conservative wager, backing Everton to score no more than one goal at -165 odds and an implied 62.3% probability. The Toffees have scored multiple goals in only one of six EPL games so far since Lampard’s arrival.

Pick: Everton — Team Total Under 1.5 Goals (-165)

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