Another top six side, another 2-1 loss. Newcastle travels to South London with just one point after five matches. Positives are there from their last fixtures. But can the Magpies pick up points on the road this time?
About the Opposition:
Roy Hodgson joined Crystal Palace last year in September. The Eagles started their season with an opening day win at Fulham and picked up another three points on their trip to Huddersfield last week. They haven’t won at home this season, losing 0-2 against Liverpool and Southampton so far.
Lineup-wise Hodgson started the season with 4-4-2 and switched to a 4-3-3 against Huddersfield, which proved to be successful. As they play at home against Newcastle, a team which tends to sit back, I expect another 4-3-3 lineup.
Their most dangerous player is Zaha, being their top scorer and having a lot of individual quality, the Magpies will have to watch him closely to not let him have too many chances. Another key player, well known to Newcastle fans, is Townsend. The Palace winger is a workhorse and creates threats inside the box with his crossing. The Palace midfield, with Milivojevic and McArthur as regular starters, is more defensive minded, Pérez and Diamé could have a hard time with trying to crack it. Kouyaté offered another defensive option against Huddersfield and could well find himself on the pitch against Newcastle to help to shut the midfield down. Looking at their backline, Wan-Bissaka has been outstanding so far this season. The 20-year-old right-back might have been sent off once already but also showed two man-of-the-match performances so far. Whoever starts on Newcastle’s left side will have a hard time facing him.
A look at the Magpies:
Newcastle is still looking for their first win in the Premier League this season. Whether it comes at Selhurst Park, we will see on Saturday. Positives from last game should be taken with them. The first half against Arsenal was promising. Fernandez proved to be a good addition, sadly Lascelles had to be subbed off due to injury. The backline seems settled for the Magpies if the captain is fit to start. In midfield, it remains open if Shelvey can start and Kenedy could be back on the wing over Murphy. In the front, Joselu might have had a great start of the season, but Rondón seems hungry for a start, and we could see the Venezuelan getting his spot over the Spaniard.
The key points for this fixture will be how well Newcastle can shut down Zaha and if Diamé can press his way through the midfield to help the Magpies open up the play more. If chances are taken in addition to that, no doubt, Newcastle could take away three points here, but Crystal Palace away won’t be easy to win, and most fans will feel happy with a point pre-match.