Newcastle travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Monday night, in a repeat of the ill-tempered final game of last season.
The Magpies were the surprise package as they spent much of the season in the top four before eventually finishing fifth at the end of a marvellous top-flight campaign.
So far they have not reached the same heights in the new campaign, with some supporters fearing Alan Pardew's squad lacks sufficient depth to mount another assault on Champions League qualification.
It started encouragingly enough with a splendid opening day win against big-spending Tottenham, before the momentum was lost with a 2-0 defeat at European champions Chelsea and a frustrating 1-1 home draw against Villa.
But Newcastle, who are searching for their 1,000th goal in the Premier League, could leapfrog their opponents and move into the top six with their first away success of the season.
The Toffees saw an 11-match unbeaten run stretching back to March ended when they were beaten 2-0 at West Bromwich Albion before the recent international break.
David Moyes' men have been notoriously slow starters in recent seasons, but blew that reputation apart in a blistering start which yielded excellent wins against Manchester United and Aston Villa in their opening two games.
But Everton, who are looking to preserve a five-match winning streak at Goodison, would climb back into the top three by beating a Newcastle side aiming to repeat last season's heroics.
Everton: Howard; Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines; Mirallas, Neville (c), Osman, Pienaar; Fellaini; Jelavic.
Newcastle: Harper; Perch, S.Taylor, Williamson, Santon; Anita, Gutierrez (c); Ben Arfa, Cabaye, Marveaux; Cisse.
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