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Cisse tipped to go on scoring spree despite pressure
PAPISS CISSE has been backed to shine by his Newcastle United team-mates after breaking a five-month scoring duck but the £9m man has Yoan Gouffran threatening to take his place.
Both men found the net to help the Magpies through to the last-16 of the Capital One Cup last Wednesday, with Cisse’s header bringing to an end his long wait for a goal.
The hope on Tyneside is that the Senegal international’s first since April will kickstart his season after turning in a number of below-par performances seemingly a sign of a dent to his self-belief.
But midfielder Cheik Tiote thinks Cisse has always maintained a healthy work-rate in his attempts to help the team, even during a slump which has raised doubts over his selection up front.
Tiote, expecting Cisse to retain his place at Everton tonight, said: “When you are a striker and you don’t score for a while I think your confidence can go down, but he has not been too bad.
“He is a strong boy and he has tried his best to get over it. Maybe Everton should be worried now! I hope so. I would love him to score and us to win the game.”
With Loic Remy expected to slot straight back in to the team on the left after shrugging off the slight knock which forced him to miss the Leeds tie, Gouffran is likely to find himself on the bench again at Goodison Park.
Gouffran, who also scored the winner at Aston Villa a fortnight ago, was impressive last Wednesday and scored a stunning second for Newcastle which secured their place in the next round of the Capital One Cup.
The former Bordeaux man has justifiable claims to be in the starting line-up. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said: “You have to get used to the pace or demands of the Premier League.
“I actually think all four who came in, in January, have done a lot better this season. They all look a lot more comfortable and that comes from settling down.
“Arsene Wenger, with his French players, used to give them 12 months to settle. Gouff, in particular, is really knocking on the door. He is the one who, right now, it is difficult to look him in the eye when he is not in the team because he really is that close.”
After losing to Hull City nine days ago at St James’ Park, it is hoped Cisse and Gouffran’s goals against Leeds will see Newcastle return to better form in the Premier League tonight.
If Newcastle can inflict the first defeat on Everton in the league under Roberto Martinez then Pardew’s men will leapfrog them and move in to the top six.
Tiote said: “We’ve won four out of five. That’s good form and there are not many teams who can achieve that sort of set of results in the Premier League. I think we have to back that up on Monday night and do everything right and if we do that we have got a great chance.”
He added: “I think with the changes we have made we do look more confident this season. We look better on the ball and we need to continue in that way. I think it will be different to what happened at Everton last season. I think if we go there and do the right things we have got a good chance of getting another win.”
Newcastle drew 2-2 at Goodison Park last season but Tiote remembers his first appearance at that venue three years ago, when Hatem Ben Arfa’s brilliance earned a 1-0 win.
“Everton was my first game for Newcastle in 2010 and we went there with a good team and lots of confidence,” said the Ivorian. “You never forget your first game for any club and I will always remember that, but the fact that we won made it extra special.
“I hope we can repeat it, because that would go some way towards ending the disappointment from the Hull game. What I would really want is for it to be the same story on the pitch.”
Newcastle (4-2-3-1): Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon; Sissoko, Anita; Remy, Cabaye, Ben Arfa; Cisse.
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