Everton defender Phil Jagielka prepared for battle with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse

 

Everton defender Phil Jagielka is relishing the prospect of doing battle with Newcastle strike duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse at Goodison Park.

The England international insists he gets the greatest pleasure out of stopping the best strikers from scoring and he hopes to enjoy himself tonight.

"Papiss Cisse took a lot of plaudits with the goals he scored, Demba Ba led the way before he came (in January) and they were two great signings for them," said Jagielka.

"You don't want to play against people who are not expected to score and then they go and score against you - it makes you look bad.

"If you play against these people who score goals for fun and you keep them out it breeds confidence.

"Myself and most of the other defenders prefer to play against the people everyone else has come to watch and hopefully we'll stop them playing well."

Everton have won their last six home games in all competitions, scoring 19 and conceding just once - which was an own goal.

That has part of a good run of form since January and when Newcastle last visited Goodison, on the final day of last season, they were well beaten 3-1.

Last season's runners-up Manchester United have already been dispatched this campaign on a Monday night and Jagielka is looking forward to a repeat display tonight.

"There is a special atmosphere at Goodison in night games and if we can put in as good a performance as last time - both against Newcastle and our last Monday night game - it should be good to watch," he told evertontv.

"We have had a decent start and it would be nice to keep that run going.

"We'll look back at our previous game with Newcastle and look at their weaknesses and see how well we did.

"We have found a consistency of playing well and getting decent results and we have people capable of scoring goals and keeping them out and that has been proved by the results we've had."

Newcastle have not made the flying start they did last time out, although they have four points from three matches, and Jagielka questioned whether they would be able to reproduce last season's heroics when they were in the Champions League running for a long time.

"They have been up there competing and spent a lot of money recently," he said.

"After getting promoted they kicked on massively last season and had quite a number of players who had a fantastic season scoring a lot of great goals.

"It will be interesting to see how they do this season because it is harder to have a special second season."

PA

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