After another difficult weekend which saw the Magpies lose 2-1 at home to Arsenal, Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle continue to look for their first win of the season. The Tyneside club have endured a difficult start to the season after having faced Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal already this season.
Having already played four of last season’s top six, fans will be hoping to see an improvement in the team’s results now that their difficult start is behind them. The Magpies’ next five fixtures in the league are critical as the team has only managed a single point in their opening five.
Their next games against Crystal Palace (A), Leicester (H), Manchester United (A), Brighton (H) and Southampton (A) will be by no means easier fixtures but the club will be hoping for a quick turnaround in form. This weekend’s game against Crystal Palace looks all-the-more important then, as Newcastle currently occupy the 19th spot in the league.
Opponents Palace picked up a 1-0 away victory over Huddersfield at the weekend and are currently 12th in the league. Despite picking up the win Palace only managed 2 shots on target throughout the game. The home fans were in full voice after Wilfried Zaha had gone down from Zanka’s challenge, but Zaha would silence the Huddersfield fans with a superb solo goal.
Zaha beat two Huddersfield players as he cut inside from the left and finished his move by bending the ball into the far post. Huddersfield’s best chance to equalise came from Aaron Mooy’s volley which struck the left-hand goalpost.
Newcastle meanwhile suffered another 2-1 defeat. Granit Xhaka gave Arsenal the lead from a direct free kick in the opening minutes of the second half. Arsenal were 2-0 up inside 58 minutes as Mesut Özil doubled the Gunners’ advantage. Alexandre Lacazette’s blocked shot fell to Ozil who wrong-footed Martin Dubravka and placed the ball just out of the keeper’s reach.
Newcastle put the pressure on Arsenal as Ciaran Clark was left unmarked from a cross in the 91st minute. The defender’s header had too much power and beat Petr Cech at his near post, however, this late goal wouldn’t be enough for Newcastle as Arsenal held on to the points.
Newcastle will be encouraged by the return to full fitness of some of their key players, such as Matt Ritchie and Jonjo Shelvey. Jamaal Lascelles is a doubt for the game after coming off at half time against Arsenal, while Pape Souare is doubtful for Palace, who will also be without Scott Dann and Christian Benteke.
Historically Newcastle have had the advantage in the Premier League picking up 8 wins in 14 games against the London side, but given Palace’s form the Magpies will be hoping for a strong performance and a positive result as they travel down to Selhurst Park this Saturday.
Crystal Palace predicted line-up: Hennessey; Wan-Bissaka, Tomkins, Sakho, van Aanholt; Milivojevic, Kouyate, McArthur, Townsend, Zaha; Ayew.
Newcastle United predicted line-up: Dubravka; Yedlin, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett; Ritchie, Shelvey, Diame, Kenedy; Perez, Rondon.
Predicted final score: Crystal Palace 0 – 1 Newcastle