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Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United - prediction, team news, lineups
23/10/2021 08:07:30

Newcastle United will endeavour to begin the post-Steve Bruce era in perfect fashion when they travel to Crystal Palace for Saturday's Premier League clash.

The Magpies' first clash under new ownership ended in a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, while Patrick Vieira's Eagles were forced to settle for a point against Arsenal.

We say: Crystal Palace 3-1 Newcastle United

With so much attacking quality on show at Selhurst Park, it is difficult to envisage a low-scoring affair this weekend, especially with both sides' defensive deficiencies also coming into play.

Newcastle will be hoping to see the new manager bounce phenomenon propel them to a positive result here, but Palace have developed a resilient nature at home and ought to hand Vieira a confidence-boosting win in the capital.

Match preview

Despite being dominated for the opening 15 minutes against Arsenal and falling behind to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener, Crystal Palace seemed destined to march to a deserved win at the Emirates as Christian Benteke and Odsonne Edouard turned the tie on its head.

However, Vieira's return to North London ended with the Invincibles captain slamming the Emirates touchline in frustration, as Alexandre Lacazette was on hand to crash home the equaliser with virtually the last kick of the game to extend Palace's winless run in the top flight to four matches.

The Eagles have now drawn their last three in the Premier League and occupy 14th spot in the table as a result, but if they can continue to produce performances anywhere near as impressive as they did at the Emirates, the Selhurst Park faithful have a bright future to look forward to under Vieira.

However, one win from eight Premier League games in the 2021-22 season is a slightly worrying statistic - with five of those encounters ending with the spoils shared - and they have now conceded eight goals in their last four top-flight matches.

On a more positive note, the return of fans to Selhurst Park has certainly benefitted the Eagles, who are one of three English top-flight teams yet to lose a league game at home this season - taking six points from a possible 12 on home soil so far.

Steve Bruce was widely expected to depart St James' Park before being granted the honour of taking charge of his 1,000th match, but the 60-year-old remained at the helm to witness his side fall to a dampening 3-2 defeat against Spurs on what should have been a joyous occasion in the North East.

However, amid reports of player bust-ups and those in the squad growing increasingly frustrated with Bruce's tactics, the three-time Premier League winner was relieved of his duties earlier this week as Newcastle's new owners begin their radical overhaul.

Paulo Fonseca is rumoured to be the Magpies' leading candidate to take the reins, but Graeme Jones will oversee the trip to Selhurst Park as Newcastle desperately aim to secure their first win of the 2021-22 league season at the ninth attempt.

Only Norwich City have accrued fewer points than 19th-placed Newcastle's three so far, while 19 goals shipped also represents the worst defensive record in the top flight, and the Magpies are unsurprisingly still seeking their first clean sheet of the season.

Newcastle did manage to secure a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park in this fixture last term - just their second win from six against the Eagles - but Palace prevailed 2-1 at St James' Park in the most recent fixture back in September.

Team News

Palace will hope to welcome Wilfried Zaha back to the fold after the Ivorian missed out against Arsenal due to illness, while Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson remain out for now.

Should Zaha return in time, Vieira certainly has an attacking dilemma on his hands, with Benteke, Edouard and Jordan Ayew all contributing to Palace's point at the Emirates, alongside Michael Olise.

The latter could hardly do more in his quest for a starting place, but Zaha's return for Ayew could potentially be the only change that Palace make this weekend.

Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey will serve a suspension this weekend following his red card against Spurs but was never likely to start here, while Freddie Woodman, Martin Dubravka and Paul Dummett represent the visitors' three injury concerns.

It remains to be seen how Jones will line up for his first game as interim manager, but the visiting coach will hope to have Miguel Almiron available after his late return from international duty last week.

Isaac Hayden and Jamaal Lascelles are alleged to have had a bust up in the tunnel after the Tottenham defeat, but neither man is likely to be dropped here.

Crystal Palace possible starting lineup:

Guaita; Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell; Gallagher, Milivojevic, McArthur; Edouard, Benteke, Zaha

Newcastle United possible starting lineup:

Darlow; Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie; Saint-Maximin, Willock, Hayden, Almiron, Joelinton; Wilson

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