Crystal Palace (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

With tricky games against Manchester United, Everton and Leicester coming up after Christmas, this feels like a big chance for us to stay on track.

Our recent form has featured far more good results than bad ones, seeing us pull away from the bottom three, but last weekend’s dismal defeat at Burnley brought us back down to earth with a bump.

A win will take us into Christmas on 25 points and into the top 10, but lose and we could be sucked back into a battle at the bottom should Southampton win in their huge game at Villa this weekend.

It’s been a brilliant first-half of the season in the circumstances, so let’s hope we can dig in once again against a Palace who rarely lose on the road.

Predicted XI

They’ve been early doubts all week, but Bruce hinted that Almiron and Shelvey will be fit to return for this one, meaning we’re likely to see a couple of changes from the side that lost at Burnley.

Atsu and Longstaff were both very poor at Turf Moor so seem like the obvious candidates to drop out. That said, will Bruce use Joelinton out wide again now he’s got two wingers fit in Almiron and Atsu? Will Carroll be fit enough to start back-to-back games? Will Gayle get a rare chance in the side against his former club?

At the back, Bruce may be tempted to give Yedlin a run out to deal with Zaha’s pace on the counter, yet it would take a brave man to drop Javier Manquillo on current form. He was arguably our best player at Burnley and has been rock solid in recent weeks.

Then there’s Florian Lejeune. With Clark and Lascelles out, could the Frenchman return against the side he was taken off on a stretcher against back in April? With us needing more creativity at home without Saint-Maximin, Bruce may be considering the ball-playing Frenchman.

Preferred NUFC XI – (5-2-2-1) – Dubravka – Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett, Willems – Hayden, Shelvey – Almiron, Joelinton – Carroll.

The Opposition

Here’s ‘ones to watch’ in Roy Hodgson’s side:

Wilfred Zaha – It goes without saying that Zaha is their key man and talisman up top. His skill, explosive pace and power will mean whoever starts at right-back will need to be bang at it to live with him. Keep him quiet and you often stop Crystal Palace.

Vicente Guaita – He’s kept 3 clean sheets in Palace’s last 4 games and is a very good shot stopper. Without him they’d have been beaten comfortably by Brighton last week, so it may take something special to beat the in-form Spaniard here.

Max Meyer – The highly-rated German international has done very little since making the shock move to Palace last summer, but changed the game in their 1-1 draw with Brighton earlier this week. With so many injured, the midfield maestro could be handed a rare start at St James’ this weekend.

Predicted Palace XI (4-3-3): Guiata – Kelly, Tomkins, Dann,

Team news

Bruce hinted in his Friday presser that Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey should return, with both coming through training on Thursday.

Saint-Maximin will miss out once again with a hamstring injury, Clark and Ki won’t make it and Lascelles and Ritchie remain out until the new year with respective knee and ankle injuries.

After returning to the squad for the first time in 7 months last weekend, Florian Lejeune could be one to watch.

Palace are facing a big injury crisis heading into this one, with Hodgson confirming that Townsend, Cahill, Schlupp, Sakho, Ward and Riedewald are out.

Scott Dann is also facing a late fitness test, but star man Patrick Van Aanholt could return after several weeks out.

Prediction

Not to sound like scrooge, but I initially thought we’d lose this one with us coming up against a Palace side (who are very good on the road) without our key man Allan Saint-Maximin.

That said, they now have huge injury issues of their and we look set to have Almiron and Shelvey back, so the tables have turned slightly.

They will still be tough to break down and, with the dangerous Zaha up top, can pose a real threat on the counter.

It’s not quite the result we’d want heading into Christmas, but I can see this being a close game and score draw.

Prediction: Newcastle 1-1 Crystal Palace.

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

43 thoughts on “Crystal Palace (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line ups

  1. I fear you are right Olly and that Carroll will start. I have no objection to him as a player or for his effort. It is his injury record that I worry about. Hopefully, if he plays he will only go 60 minutes and then they will rest him for Man U. He cannot be our main striker because he WILL get injured.

    From what Bruce said Gayle will be on the bench. He said he would have to change formation to accommodate Dwight. I don’t see why, just swap him for Andy and tell the wide forwards to cut in more and give him support. However, I suppose Bruce thinks he needs a hold up player, especially as that is what they are trying to teach Joelinton. The better teams do not play like that, not even Spurs who have Kane dropping back quite a bit and they play to his feet. This adds fuel to the argument made by some that Bruce is a dinosaur.

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  2. I still don’t understand how playing Gayle would require a change of formation. How about a change in tactics/mindset which is totally different. Forget the hold up/outlet idea of lump it to the big man. We have the wing backs in the current system who can go on the outside allowing Almiron and Joelinton to cut in and support a centre forward like Gayle. Or even Carroll for that matter. I just think we have to get away from the outlet ball mentality. None of the better teams play that.

    We have 3 whippets as well if Gayle plays and wouldn’t that be ideal for Shelvey to play it in behind the opposition?

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  3. With 1 goal in 17 games from the forwards, the lump it to the big man is just not working. We can still play 3 at the back and wing backs because that IS working, just adjust the outlet. We have actually looked best when Almiron and St Max are running full pelt at the opposition and have looked crap when looking for knock downs and flick ons.

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  4. Just catching up here, got back from hospital with Lewis yesterday having been in for 5 days. Still not fully right and a chance he may end up back in as we both picked up a hacking cough on the resp ward. Have to say great care from Medics under extreme strain, A & E is really on it’s arse though 🙁

    What have i missed, who is still out injured ?
    Eric, Some good points re Gayle there but i still have grave concerns he is PL quality, he missed a sitter last week, chances he never misses in the fizzy pop.

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  5. Too many pundits predicting a win makes me nervous. I know it has no effect whatsoever but it still makes me nervous.

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  6. The way this Arsenal team are playing is unrecognizable from what I’m used to seeing. Arteta has a big task especially if Aubamayang forces his way out. He would be perfect for Real Madrid by the way.

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  7. kimtoon:
    Just catching up here, got back from hospital with Lewis yesterday having been in for 5 days.Still not fully right and a chance he may end up back in as we both picked up a hacking cough on the resp ward. Have to say great care from Medics under extreme strain, A & E is really on it’s arse though

    What have i missed, who is still out injured ?
    Eric, Some good points re Gayle there but i still have grave concerns he is PL quality, he missed a sitter last week, chances he never misses in the fizzy pop.

    Kim – hope you and Lewis are ok ??.

    Good news, Boris has it all in hand, 40 new hospitals and 50,000 new nurses on their way – so ??

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  8. If Gayle doesn’t play today then we have to sell him in January and get someone in that Bruce wants to play. Gayle and Muto aren’t getting anywhere near in a front line that are totally off the boil.
    Sell them and get players in he wants to use.

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  9. kimtoon:
    Just catching up here, got back from hospital with Lewis yesterday having been in for 5 days.Still not fully right and a chance he may end up back in as we both picked up a hacking cough on the resp ward. Have to say great care from Medics under extreme strain, A & E is really on it’s arse though?

    What have i missed, who is still out injured ?
    Eric, Some good points re Gayle there but i still have grave concerns he is PL quality, he missed a sitter last week, chances he never misses in the fizzy pop.

    sorry to hear that mate once again plenty luck but all bad,hope things pick up for you 😐

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  10. Just read in The Chroic that Carroll played 118 games in 7 years at West Ham. That’s why I am so worried about him having too many minutes after yet another injury.

    Sharpy, Charnley has said we won’t be buying anybody in Jan. I think that would apply even of we sold Gayle and/or Muto. That’s why I am so adamant that we keep Gayle.

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  11. Eric Sykes:
    Just read in The Chroic that Carroll played 118 games in 7 years at West Ham. That’s why I am so worried about him having too many minutes after yet another injury.

    Sharpy, Charnley has said we won’t be buying anybody in Jan. I think that would apply even of we sold Gayle and/or Muto. That’s why I am so adamant that we keep Gayle.

    Eric – when did we start believing a word Lee Charnley says?! ?

    I understand why you’re saying that mate, but it’s clear from his lack of trust in Gayle and certainly Muto, that Bruce does not want to play them. It’s a similar situation with Rafa and Mitro. If the managers don’t want them, cash in

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  12. Christmas, Metro Strike, Boycott, free tickets not yet released – I can see a real attendance of about 35k today even though the official attendance will probably be 42k.

    I am not one of the fans who will be happy about this. Just saying I think there will be a lot of empty seats today.

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  13. Eric Sykes:
    Christmas, Metro Strike, Boycott, free tickets not yet released – I can see a real attendance of about 35k today even though the official attendance will probably be 42k.

    I am not one of the fans who will be happy about this. Just saying I think there will be a lot of empty seats today.

    That’s life under a Tory government mate ??

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  14. Going to be a tricky game today. Palace are a decent side if Zaha is on song. No Willems in the team… surprised about that, has he got a knock? Fingers crossed that we can get something out of this.

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  15. Dubai Toon:
    Going to be a tricky game today. Palace are a decent side if Zaha is on song.No Willems in the team… surprised about that, has he got a knock? Fingers crossed that we can get something out of this.

    Dubai – yeah he must be carrying a knock I reckon. Dummett is nee wingback either so with Joelinton down the left flank it’s gonna be a weak left side I reckon.

    I feel like freekicks and corners could be our best bet today.

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  16. Kim – it feels like it doesn’t it. I don’t know if my mood was lowered by the Everton game – but this is a hard watch too ?

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  17. I think we’ve reached peak nonsense with Joelington now. Only the keeper to beat and he falls over?! Jesus wept!

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  18. Spent a frustrating hour with tv company trying to get the game. Not fixed so glad it is not a classic 🙂

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  19. Eric Sykes:
    Spent a frustrating hour with tv company trying to get the game. Not fixed so glad it is not a classic

    Eric – ring them back mate and tell them not to both

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  20. Forget protesting against Ashley, I’d have to think twice about going to SJP coz of the football – this is truly horrible to watch I’m afraid.

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  21. I can see them sneaking a winner , Dubs has made some nice saves.

    Carroll off Gayle on, come on Dwight prove me wrong

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  22. Getinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
    Miggy Almironnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
    At Blood y last
    now fill your boots lad 😆 😆 😆

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  23. George Caulkin

    Verified account

    @GeorgeCaulkin
    3m3 minutes ago
    More
    An outpouring of noise (and relief) greets Almiron’s first goal for Newcastle. Bruce tears down the touchline, Matt Ritchie goes berserk in the press box, where he’s watching. Almiron is a popular lad, even when he struggles, because he always works his nuts off

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  24. 9th and Mackems down to 13th – their lowest ever league position. I think that puts us 47 places above them.

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  25. Wooo hooooo… Miggy finally gets his goal to win it for us… and a cracker it was too… big Andy played a blinder today. Running all over. Motm is a tight one between Carroll and Manquillo who was outstanding again. Big Andy for me but only just. 9th and above both Arsenal and Everton ??????

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  26. Boxing Day is the half-way stage of the season. Whatever happens. If we are on 25-26-28 points I am happy with any of those. Football has been dire at times but it was the same last year until Miggy’s arrival.

    Arsenal and Everton were unbelievably bad so I am not giving up on Saturday’s game. We’re above Arsenal. Who’d have thunk it?

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  27. DT: if you look at that Arsenal team there isn’t much quality. Aubamayang doesn’t really look like he is trying. They didn’t even play Pepe – their record signing.

    Mind, I am not sure if Joelinton will get a game against Man U and he is our record signing by quite some distance.

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  28. Eric Sykes:
    DT: if you look at that Arsenal team there isn’t much quality. Aubamayang doesn’t really look like he is trying. They didn’t even play Pepe – their record signing.

    Mind, I am not sure if Joelinton will get a game against Man U and he is our record signing by quite some distance.

    Yeah Eric, Arse are just a shadow of their former teams… very ordinary. I don’t think Arteta will be able to change much either, but I could be wrong. Let’s see.

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  29. Didn’t see the game but from comments it sounds low on quality. I think Ryder must have been on the egg nog as he gave everybody 8s apart from Joelinton.

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