Leon Osman is hoping Everton can cause an upset against this season's surprise package in the Barclays Premier League - Newcastle United.

Alan Pardew's side have moved into third place in the division following Monday night's 3-1 win at Stoke, and are 12 points ahead of the Toffees after an undefeated start to the campaign.

Things haven't gone so well for David Moyes' side, with the notoriously slow starters sitting in 16th position after defeat to Manchester United at Goodison Park over the weekend.

However, Osman is confident that victory over the Magpies could be a platform for the Merseysiders to rise up the table, as it was last year when they won 2-1 at St James' Park.

"They are third in the table now, unbeaten after 10 games of the season and looking very strong - particularly at home," Osman told Everton TV online.

"It's another very difficult game but it's one where we are going to be positive, go up there and try and get the win. The win there last year summed up the season for us, after adversity we came back and really triumphed.

"We had a 2-1 win and it was probably the start of a nice little run for us."

The 30-year-old was also eager to praise the efforts of defender Tony Hibbert this season, with the 'veteran' full-back enjoying an impressive campaign thus far.

The Liverpudlian defender made his debut for the Toffees over a decade ago, and continues to be an integral part of the side under the stewardship of Moyes.

"He's a top player and I've been saying for years that he's one of the best full backs in the country and he's finally getting his rewards for that," added Osman.

"He loves playing against an out and out winger where he's going to get a tough battle and it's good to finally see him get the plaudits he deserves."

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