Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has predicted a Newcastle victory when we take on Crystal Palace at St James’ Park tomorrow.
The Toon are looking to get back to winning ways following a 1-0 defeat to Burnley at Turf Moor, and Nicholas has backed us to do just that in what he thinks will be a 2-1 victory for the home side.
Here’s what he’s had to say during his latest piece for Sky Sports:
‘I called out those type of games for Crystal Palace against Brighton. Wilfried Zaha did do something magical, but only got his side a point in the end. Palace had to face a Brighton team that has been on the resurgence, but they did not make it into a derby match and got dominated – they never really got going.
‘Newcastle had a setback last week. Jonjo Shelvey has earned his right to play, but he is touch and go, as is Miguel Almiron. They do not need Almiron because he does not score, but they need his pace and movement as Allan Saint-Maximin is out with injury.
‘Newcastle are there to survive in the Premier League, and they are four or five wins from doing it already, which is a testament to the results they have earned this campaign. Steve Bruce has done a remarkable job, but it is about trying to hold a unit together, and I think he will do that again this weekend.‘
Prediction: Newcastle 2-1 Crystal Palace
The return of Shelvey could be key, with Bruce hinting today that he will return after training yesterday.
He has been our stand-out performer since being handed the captain’s armband, with his goals, calmness on the ball and passing ability making us tick in recent weeks.
That said, it’s another big test without Allan Saint-Maximin. History suggests we could struggle to score 1 goal never mind two without the explosive Frenchman, with Joelinton, Almiron, Andy Carroll and Atsu bagging just once between them all season.
Palace are a dangerous side that have been very decent on the road in 2019. Their league position is no joke and the Eagles thoroughly deserve to be sitting in the top half of the Premier League.
My prediction would be a score draw with neither side doing enough to secure all three points, but let’s hope Nicholas is right and we come away with another big win before Christmas!