COMMENT

Newcastle United are one of the form teams in the Premier League right now and will be looking to mathematically secure top flight safety against Everton on Monday night.

The Magpies currently sit on 41 points, the maximum that 18th placed Southampton can finish on in their final games of the season, meaning that a solitary point, either against the Toffees or another of their last five matches.

Their recent red hot streak, which has seen them pick up four consecutive wins, has launched them away from the relegation battle and into the hunt for a top 10 finish, currently sitting in 10th, three points clear of Bournemouth and Watford and just one point behind Everton, who have just one win in four.

As they push to overtake the Toffees, manager Rafael Benitez has just one injury concern ahead of a trip to Goodison Park, Christian Atsu sitting out with a minor niggle.

This means that the Spanish boss is expected to make just one change to his starting XI, with Dwight Gayle set to be axed in place of Islam Slimani, with fans finally getting what they want with the Algerian making his first start in his third appearance.

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Benitez has avoided making changes at the back during this impressive run of form, and that does not look set to change anytime soon, while midfield duo Jonjo Shelvey and Mohamed Diame have established a strong partnership in the centre.

Ayoze Perez, with three goals in as many games, is likely to continue to joined by Matt Ritchie, last weekend’s match winner, and Brazilian dazzler Kenedy in supporting the centre forward, with Slimani finally looking fit enough to start matches after two substitute appearances.

In other Newcastle United news, crucial talks are imminent over the future of the club in two ways.

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