Match Preview: Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United
Since Pardew’s departure last month, these clubs have been going in opposite directions. Newcastle have only won once in six matches under John Carver. While, the Eagles have soared out of the relegation zone. The home side have won five of their last six overall. And three of the last four in the Premier League.
Newcastle has welcomed back several players from injury over the last few weeks. But the club is not expecting to have Cheick Tiote back in time to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Injuries and Suspensions
Mehdi Abeid, Gabriel Obertan and Papiss Cissé have all returned to action over the last few matches. Paul Dummett is still struggling with a hamstring injury. He was an unused substitute against Stoke City. While Siem de Jong remains a doubt for this match as well.
Rob Eliott (thigh muscle), Rolando Aarons (Hamstring), Ryan Taylor (knee), Jonas Gutierrez (cancer recovery) and Steven Taylor (ruptured Achilles) are all expected to be out longer. Cheick Tioté suffered an ankle injury at the African Cup of Nations and is out indefinitely.
Marouane Chamakh missed Crystal Palace’s match against Leicester City on the weekend because of a broken nose. He remains a doubt for Newcastle. The club does not have any more significant injuries. January signing Jordon Mutch should also be available on Wednesday.
Possible Line-Ups and Tactics
This match will present a dilemma for both managers. Newcastle boss John Carver has largely maintained the same squad selections and tactics from his predecessor. This might just force Carver to make a few changes. Perhaps with squad selections or even with the formation.
At Newcastle, Alan Pardew was notorious for rarely deviating from his tactical choices and formations, regardless of results. With his new club, Pardew has experimenting with several formations, perhaps in an attempt to find the best combinations. Against Leicester, he deployed a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation on the way to a 1-0 victory.
Crystal Palace has really come alive in attack under Pardew, with 13 goals in six matches. Dwight Gayle and Mile Jedinak lead the club in goals with five each. Winger Yannick Bolasie has returned from the African Cup of Nations and should be available on Wednesday.
Newcastle have the clear advantage in recent head-to-head meetings with Crystal Palace. The Magpies have not lost to their opponents in the last eight encounters. These two clubs played to a 3-3 draw in their first league match back in August. And Newcastle eliminated Crystal Palace in the League Cup in September.
The Eagles have been very poor at Selhurst Park this season, having won only three matches in all competitions. Currently, they have only one win in the last five matches at home. Meanwhile, Newcastle need to improve their record on the road. Their victory over Hull City two weeks ago was their first in six matches.
Crystal Palace’s dramatic turnaround under Pardew has them six points clear of the relegation zone and looking confident. But the Magpies should be extra motivated in this match. The away side will have something to prove on Wednesday. Crystal Palace will keep it close but Newcastle gets the victory.
Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Newcastle United
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