This match sees two sides, looking for their first win of the season, face-off. As the home side, Newcastle will be looking at this match with more expectancy, especially after signing a flurry of new players this summer. Meanwhile, Crystal Palace have lost their opening two matches without a manager, but Neil Warnock has been announced as the new boss, so it will be Warnock’s second spell in the hotseat at Selhurst Park.
Tony Pulis left in an abrupt manner, which has damaged the side, as he was the perfect fit for Palace and his departure could lead to the club returning to the second tier, unless Warnock can continue the good work, but it will be very difficult for a manager who has never settled in the top flight.
Newcastle have started the season averagely. Despite them failing to pick up a win in their opening two league matches, they have put in encouraging performances, which has given the fan-base hope that they will have a good season. Their main issue is putting the ball in the net, but the attacking players will slowly adjust to the league and the introduction of Siem de Jong should see the Magpies carry more threat in the final third. They were unlucky not to beat Aston Villa last weekend as they did have the better chances to break the deadlock, with Cabella and de Jong missing good chances. If they don’t beat Palace this weekend, the fans’ concerns will grow, and Alan Pardew must prevent that from happening.
Last season was incredible for Crystal Palace as they stayed in the Premier League for the first time in their history, finishing 11th, which was a great campaign, considering many tipped them for relegation from the off. Many will point to the influence of Tony Pulis, but the squad is decent and the team spirit is what carried Palace to survival. This season will be much harder for the side as it’s proven that consolidating in the Premier League is very difficult. The home defeat against West Ham was disappointing, but only two matches have passed, and there is a lot of time for Palace to reach the magical 40 points.
In the corresponding fixture last season, Newcastle won through a late winner from Papiss Cisse. This was during a period in which Newcastle were struggling for form. At Selhurst Park, Newcastle also finished with the three points with a 3-0 win. On that day Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa and an own goal were on the score-sheet. Neither of the first two will be playing this weekend as Cabaye has left the club, while the latter is currently banished from the first team.
No side has picked up more red cards than Newcastle since the start of last season. The Magpies have received 7 red cards, with Mike Williamson’s dismissal against Aston Villa being the most recent.
Dwight Gayle has scored 11 goals in 1083 minutes across all competitions for Palace. He has never nailed down a starting berth, but if he continues scoring goals, it will be a matter of time.
Siem De Jong
The surname will be familiar to Newcastle fans after Luuk’s disappointing loan spell last season, but his older brother Siem is likely to have a bigger impact on Tyneside. He has been the captain of Dutch giants Ajax for a number of years and was a key part of a side that impressed in the Champions League, with a win over Manchester City being the highlight, a match in which De Jong scored. After joining in the summer, he was appointed vice-captain and impressed in pre-season, but missed the opening game with an injury. The Dutchman has featured in the last two games, so will be expected to start this weekend, with his most likely role being the number ten, behind Emmanuel Riviere. Alan Pardew has spoken highly about his summer signing, comparing him to Teddy Sheringham. Newcastle will be hoping he makes a big impact. His strength lies in his technical ability and football intelligence to create chances, while he will be eager to score a decent amount of goals this season. Newcastle are yet to score a Premier League goal, however, they will be a lot better in the final third with the Dutchman in the team and he could show his class this weekend.
For Crystal Palace, they will be hoping their new signing Brede Hangeland has a good season, as his Premier League experience will play a big part in them establishing themselves as a top flight side. He hasn’t had the best start, after playing in a side that has conceded five goals in their opening two games, but it’s early days in his Palace career. His aerial ability and his dominating style will prove difficult for the Newcastle side to break down, especially given they are low on confidence after not scoring in their opening two matches. The Newcastle attack is still developing and getting used to the league, and facing a physical defender like Hangeland will be a good test for them. They struggled against Ron Vlaar and the Palace defender is similar in style to the Dutchman, therefore he will be key to Palace’s chances of picking up their first point of the summer or better. Palace played very well at Newcastle last season. They were unlucky to lose, with Hangeland in the side, and they are unlikely to conceded a late goal, as he is very experienced and will know you can’t turn off in the Premier League.
Jack Colback and Rolando Aarons are expected to be available after picking up knocks in previous matches. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is a doubt, while Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote remain a couple of weeks away. Davide Santon and Ryan Taylor are also expected to miss out. Gabriel Obertan is a contender to start after an impressive performance in the Capital One Cup.
Joe Ledley is a doubt as he recovers from a groin injury, while Scott Dann is expected to be unavailable. Dwight Gayle will be pushing for a start after a hat trick in the Capital One Cup. A lot of fringe players will be looking to impress as when a new manager comes in, there is always opportunities, so it will be interesting to see how Warnock lines Palace up.
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It will be a tight game with very few goals in it. Newcastle have played well in their opening two matches, but it hasn’t quite clicked in the final third yet. They will dominate possession and the likes of Remy Cabella and Siem de Jong will be given chances to break Palace down. While the atmosphere at St James’ Park could be the determining factor. They are facing a side low on confidence after two losses in the league, while Neil Warnock won’t have got to know the Palace squad yet or know his strongest eleven. However, the new manager bounce could come into play and Palace could be able to get something. I think Newcastle will be too strong and will surely break their duck this week.
Newcastle United 1-0 Crystal Palace