Today sees Newcastle welcome Crystal Palace to St James’ Park, three and a half weeks before we travel to Selhurst Park for our League Cup tie. Both sides have started the season poorly and currently occupy 17th and 18th places in the table.
Newcastle have so far been unable to score a goal this season (with only QPR for company on this stat), a continuation of our poor goalscoring form for the whole of 2014, in which time we’ve scored just 14 Premier League goals. We failed to even register a shot on target in the loss to Man City, then were unable to find the finish in a goalless draw with Villa, and even in the cup we relied on an own goal to progress, but it’s arguable that if the defender didn’t get a touch it would have been an easy finish.
Palace’s season was thrown into disarray when manager Tony Pulis left by mutual consent less than 48 hours before the first game, reportedly due to a disagreement over transfers. Neil Warnock returned to the Eagles this week, four and a half years on from his previous stint in charge of the club, and will be hoping to secure Palace’s first points of the season; they lost 1-2 to Arsenal and 1-3 to West Ham before his appointment. The last two times Warnock led Palace against Newcastle resulted in 2-0 wins for us, while Crystal Palace overall haven’t scored against us this millennium, for whatever that’s worth.
Pardew had some words to say about how his former club and their managerial situation, as well as some disheartening comments about how he thinks such a technical Newcastle side will find its first goal of the season (via The Guardian):
“I’m a changed man, Neil gets emotional but I’ve never really had a problem with Neil. I think once at Sheffield United we might have had a bit of an issue but it didn’t take me long to give him my death stare and he backed off. He knows my death stare’s better than his.”
“Seriously, it’s important that I show I’ve changed since the [Meyler] incident and limit my time in the technical area. I’m trying to keep my emotions under wraps to a certain degree.”
“Neil has the experience and he’s going to make a difference to our game against them. A new manager always does; we’ve got to face that.”
“I think Palace will be difficult for us. It’s very difficult when teams pack their defences and don’t give us any space.
“I think when we score it will be from a penalty or a set play or maybe a shot from the edge of the area or a ricochet. Hopefully.”
“[Cabella] needs more games with more room, I think when team’s fall behind against us, we’ll see the best of him. I don’t really worry about him. I think he’s a good player.”
Mike Williamson has served his suspension for his second yellow card against Aston Villa, while Rolando Aarons and Jack Colback, both recently called up to the England U20s and first team respectively, have recovered from the knocks that made them doubts for this one, with Pardew talking up the former’s chances of starting this game during the week. Siem de Jong may be in line for his full Premier League debut after having played roughly 90 minutes combined between our last two matches.
Yanga-Mbiwa appears likely to have played his last game in a Newcastle shirt, and although he’s officially out due to an ankle injury, there has been a lot of talk of a loan move to Marseille. Cheick Tioté is still out with injury, and will hopefully return alongside Papiss Cissé for the Southampton match in two weeks. Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor remain long-term absentees. Hatem Ben Arfa is likely to continue his exile, despite his performance for the reserves this week.
For the visitors, Joe Ledley is likely to miss out, Stuart O’Keefe will have a late fitness test, and Scott Dann may be in line for a return, having returned to training during the week. Wilfried Zaha is back at the club on loan.
I feel this match is probably one of the best to give Aarons his full PL debut in, as Pardew has alluded to, and also to keep his momentum going. I’d have Haïdara replace Dummett so that we have a bit more presence down the left wing in attack, especially as the Frenchman apparently impressed in the mid-week game. The rest of the team pretty much picks itself aside from the choice of pairing in defensive/central midfield; I don’t like Sissoko in a deep role and feel that Anita can do a lot more for the side, with Colback picking up the more physical defensive duties and still chipping in upfield.
3-0. I’m trying to keep this optimism thing going. Palace have conceded five goals in two games, so hopefully their defence is poor enough to let us find that first goal and open the floodgates. I predict goals for Rivière, Cabella, and Colback, with de Jong picking up at least two assists.
Where to Watch/Listen
Palace didn’t take their full allocation of tickets, so more of Leazes Level 7 has been made available for home fans; however there will apparently be no cash turnstiles for the match, so get down to the box office if you want a ticket.
The match isn’t televised in the UK. There is radio commentary on BBC Newcastle, Absolute Radio and talkSPORT.
Overseas Coverage: (via nufc.com)
Canal+ Multideporte 1
Canal+ Yomvi + HD (Spain)
NBC Sports Live (USA)
Stod 2 Sport 4
SuperSport 5 Africa
How do you think we’ll get on in this game? Have your say in our discussion thread here.
Latest posts by Cal (see all)
- Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Sunderland – 20/03/16 - 20 March 2016
- Preview: Arsenal vs Newcastle Utd – 02/01/16 - 2 January 2016
- Preview: Tottenham vs Newcastle Utd – 13/12/15 - 13 December 2015
- Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Liverpool – 06/12/15 - 6 December 2015
- Preview: Newcastle Utd vs Leicester City – 21/11/15 - 21 November 2015