This could be the fixture Alan Pardew was most looking forward to since taking over at Selhurst Park where he would be facing his old side Newcastle United on a freezing cold Wednesday night. Crystal Palace have looked determined and fresh if anything since Pardew’s took charge of the club and should be aiming to keep the momentum going and not slip up before the next round of FA Cup fixtures in the weekend. The Eagles managed to shade the game against Leicester City on Saturday and came away with all 3 points after a lone set piece goal that had done the trick in a game where the home team did everything bar scoring. That result must have lifted the mood at the club with the side climbing up to sixth on the form table and finding themselves a step closer to the top half, should stand them in good stead ahead of the visit of Newcastle United, an opposition Alan Pardew would be relishing to beat.
Newcastle United will travel to Selhurst Park on the back of an uninspiring 1-1 draw, a game they really should have put to bed with all the possession they had, only to let Peter Crouch do what he always does, deep into the 93rd minute. John Carver, who was appointed caretaker boss after the resignation of Alan Pardew, has had a slow start to his tenure with just 5 points from his first 5 games as manager. The Magpies have had it tough on the road of late, with 4 losses in the last 6 games and just 4 points accrued from a possible 18. A win away from home could do a world of good for Newcastle United which might also see them creep into one of those top ten places, something their fans would hope to find their side when the curtains are drawn to a close.
It was 3-3 when the teams last faced each other at St. James Park thanks to a late Wilfried Zaha equalizer that prevented what would have been a narrow Newcastle win.
No fresh injury worries for Crystal Palace as the side will continue to miss the services of Mile Jedinak (ankle/foot), Chamakh (broken nose) and Dann (head) though Chamakh could make a return to the squad for the game in midweek.
John Carver could miss up to six players for their trip to South London in Siem De Jong, Rolando Aarons, Ryan Taylor and Buckley who could all return by the end of February while Tiote and Elliot are set to be sidelined for a longer period.
- Dwight Gayle has opened the scoring in both matches between these two sides this season.
- Crystal Palace have won more points in their four Barclays Premier League matches under Alan Pardew (9) than they had in their previous 11 league encounters combined (8).
- There have been five goals netted in the last five minutes of the last four matches in all competitions between Palace and Newcastle (excluding extra-time).
- Crystal Palace had failed to score in seven matches in a row against Newcastle before this season, but have drawn 3-3 in the BPL at St James’ Park and lost 3-2 in the Capital One Cup on home soil in 2014/15.
Jason Puncheon – Crystal Palace
Jason Puncheon has looked rejuvenated under Alan Pardew with the midfielder beginning to have a major say in all of Crystal Palace’s attacking scenarios. The 28-year old has made 23 appearances so far, scoring 3 goals and creating a further 4, Puncheon has been the main source of goal-scoring chances from open play (35), more than any other player has managed to create at Crystal Palace. Add to that the work rate he brings to the table with the player involving in 2 defensive actions per game that also includes a combined total of 33 interceptions and tackles, you are looking at one of the most influential players in this dogged Palace outfit who could prove to be decisive against Pardew’s old employers.
Remy Cabella – Newcastle United
Cabella has slowly begun to show what he’s all about with all the flair and quick feet the man possesses, it’s time he took games like these by the scruff of his neck and run with it. After a lack of involvement owing to a rusty relationship with his former manager, Cabella has been getting more playing time as the midfielder has now made 22 appearances for the club but in only 6 of those games would he stay for the whole 90 minutes which says something about his behavior. John Carver also touched on the same when he mentioned the lack of patience that borders being disrespectful to fellow teammates and himself post match means Cabella has to get his head around football and keep working for his own good. He’s created a total of 33 chances which looks a good statistic considering the amount of time he has been on the pitch. With a remarkable 86% pass accuracy, Cabella has got it in his locker to positively influence this game and get themselves a vital result ahead of the next round of FA Cup football.
Pardew to pile more misery on Newcastle fans.
Crytsal Palace 2-1 Newcastle United