Struggling to find the form that took them to fifth in the English Premier League last year, Newcastle will know nothing short of their best will do in their English Premier League game against an Everton side smarting from an unlucky 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend.
Newcastle, from the lofty position last year, are currently trying to get themselves out of the relegation dogfight, having picked up just 20 points; they currently lie in 15th, just two points off third bottom Wigan.
Everton, on the other hand lost a little bit of ground on the fight for fourth place with the loss to Chelsea, and will be keen to get back to winning ways.
"It's always been a tough game at St James' Park and I've never known it any other way," everton manager David Moyes said. "You go up to a club that obviously has a fantastic fan-base and we know it's going to be very hard.
"I want the team to try and continue to do what they have been doing. They know I can be tough with them and be a bully because I want results from them. But I trust them and they need to keep playing the way they have been. If they do that they will win more than they lose."
Moyes said Newcastle's involvement in the Europa League might have played a part in their struggles this season.
"I think when you are in that Europa League and you have Premier League games as well -- and we have been in that position ourselves -- it affects your season," he added. "Everybody will probably agree that they are surprised Newcastle haven't done a little bit better.
"When you take into consideration the Europa League and Premier League games, it can take its toll in the first three or four months of the season. People will think it's just a game on a Thursday and a game on a Sunday but it is very hard to explain. Once you have the group games out of the way it becomes a little bit easier.
"But Alan (Pardew) has got a good team and he showed it last season. They might be a bit like Everton and improve in the second half of the season and still find themselves in a lofty position."
Marouane Fellaini returns after serving a three-match suspension, while Phil Neville is also expected to be available after missing the Chelsea game. Darron Gibson, though has been ruled out with a thigh injury, with Kevin Mirallas, Tony Hibbert and Seamus Coleman all likely to miss out.
Newcastle will be without Danny Simpson for four weeks after the right-back broke his toe in the game against Arsenal, but Mike Williamson returns from a one-match suspension. Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Guttierez, Yohan Cabaye, Vurnon Anita and Steven Taylor remain on the sidelines.
Expected lineups: Newcastle: Krul; Perch, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Bigirimana, Tiote; Cisse, Marveaux, Obertan; Ba.
Everton: Howard; Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Osman, Hitzlsperger; Naismith, Fellaini, Pienaar; Jelavic.
Prediction: 2-1 to Newcastle
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