David Moyes refused to be drawn into a verbal sparring match with Alan Pardew by reminding him of the humble pie served to him on his last trip to Goodison Park.
The Newcastle manager remarked before the last game of the season last year that the Magpies were in a different league to Moyes’ men, only to be comprehensively undermined by a 3-1 loss.
“People can say what they like in terms of where Everton are compared to Newcastle,” he said. “Alan and Newcastle did a really good job and deservedly have found themselves in Europe this year.
“I thought they did great last year as they kept it going when a lot of people thought they would fade away.”
Darron Gibson will miss Everton’s clash with Newcastle tonight after being sidelined for five weeks with a thigh strain, while new signing Brian Oviedo’s visa has not arrived in time for him to take part.
Newcastle are missing two cornerstones of their defence in goalkeeper Tim Krul and and defender Fabricio Coloccini who picked up injuries while on international duty.
Pardew’s side look much lighter than usual as they are also without Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, and Cheick Tiote.