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

After a second half humiliation at the Emirates last weekend, we must put in a MUCH better display here to avoid a second defeat in the capital in the space of 6 days.

We showed promise in the opening stages at Arsenal and were posing a threat to begin with, but basic errors, a lack of attacking intent and a complete failure to respond after going one down made an average Arsenal side look like world beaters.

Palace are struggling and on the slide, so this is a side we must get at and unsettle – not sit back against and hope for a point.

When the game kicks off at Selhurst Park it’ll have been 58 days since Crystal Palace last won a game of football. Let’s hope we don’t buck that trend in typical Newcastle United style!

Predicted XI

(5-2-2-1): Dubravka – Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Lejeune, Rose – Hayden, S Longstaff – Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Gayle.

Dubravka will continue in goal – although he’ll be hoping for a far quieter game than he had in North London last weekend.

At the back, Clark is out for some time, meaning Florian Lejeune looks likely to come in if Bruce sticks with a back five. Lascelles seems nailed on, meaning it’ll be a straight shoot out between Fernandez and Schar for that right-sided CB slot – a battle the former seems to be winning as the Swiss star struggling for minutes.

At right wing-back, Lazaro got the nod ahead of Yedlin at Arsenal, but didn’t do enough in the build up to two of Arsenal’s goals – leaving some to wonder if he’ll be able to handle Zaha here. It wouldn’t surprise me if he played higher up in this one, with Yedlin slotting in behind him at right-back?

Personally, I’d keep Lazaro in the side and aim to expose the fact Zaha rarely tracks back, with him looking dangerous going forward and capable on the ball during his eye-catching first-half display at the Emirates. Yes he may struggle to contain the Ivorian winger, but Yedlin has hardly contained him the last few times we’ve met!

Down the other side, Rose looked a little unfit last weekend, so Bruce may be tempted to bring Matt Ritche back in – a player whose energy and intensity we missed last time out. That said, Rose needs game time to get back to his best, so I don’t see Bruce taking him out the side just 6 days after handing him his first start.

In midfield, I can Hayden coming back in to give us that extra bit of bite and presence in the middle. Bentaleb and S Longstaff were both too ponderous last time out, with the former looking like a player who’d only made a handful of starts since last April, sadly. As a result, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s on the bench for this one.

Out wide, it’s fair to say Almiron and Saint-Maximin are nailed on starters, but it’ll be interesting to see what Bruce does in attack given Gayle is finally fit again. The Daily Star’s Ian Murtagh claims he could be set to start, and I’d like to see the Brazilian play just off the former Palace poacher if he is to start.

Preferred NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Fernandez, Lascelles, Rose – Hayden, Bentaleb – Lazaro, Almiron, Saint-Maximin – Joelinton.

The Opposition

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

Wilfred Zaha – The winger is one of the most explosive players in the top flight – even if his constant moaning makes him unbearable to watch at times. Javier Manquillo dealt with him brilliantly earlier this season, but with Yedlin often struggling when he’s faced the Ivorian and Lazaro being caught out defensively a few times at Arsenal, he’s the one player we’ll do well to stop on Saturday.

Jordan Ayew – Palace’s current top scorer on 6 goals. Skilful and capable of the spectacular on his day. Could play out wide if Benteke or Tosun starts up top.

Cenk Tosun – Steve Bruce was offered the chance to sign the Everton striker last month but said no, feeling the Turkish striker – who was linked with a move to Tyneside during his time with Besiktas – wasn’t better than what we already have. Now he’s on loan at Selhurst Park until the end of the season, he’ll be keen to prove us wrong!

Patrick Van-Aanholt – Former Sunderland star and ex-Mag (on loan during our season in the Championship under Hughton) who’ll look to cause problems down their left if Zaha doesn’t.

Team news

Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto have both trained all week and are in contention, but Andy Carroll remains out.

Joelinton has a thigh issue but should be ok to play, however Ciaran Clark looks set to be sidelined for a long time, with Bruce confirming he’s now in a protective boot after leaving Arsenal on crutches last weekend.

Jonjo Shelvey, Emil Krafth, Javier Manquillo, Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems remain out, while Christian Atsu is ill.

For the hosts, James Tomkins, Mamadou Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp have been ruled out, while Roy Hodgson has confirmed ‘one or two’ others could also miss out after a sickness bug hit the squad.


We’re still 7 points clear of the drop zone, but our recent displays suggest we could VERY easily be sucked back into a dog fight if we aren’t careful.

A reaction is needed after that second half collapse at Arsenal, so what better way to do it than beat an out of sorts Palace – a mid-table side who’ll know that a win could move them one huge step closer to Premier League survival.

With a few of the bottom sides having winnable games this weekend, this is the first of many chances we’ll have to move within two wins of that 40-point mark.

This game’s been tough to watch and low on goals over the past few years, but hopefully we give the fans travelling to London a bit more to shout about this time around – not that any will be complaining if it’s a 1-0 win via a deflected shot off of Joelinton’s backside!

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle


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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.

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

  1. Once again i find myself expecting a draw at best from this game. We are so impotent up front and even more worrying is the way our shape and defense collapsed last sunday.


  2. This has 1-1 written all over it. Boring teams with no decent strikers.

    Through 26 games:

    NUFC 24 goals

    Palace 23 goals


  3. Steve Bruce on Tyne Tees tv tonight saying Joelinton might not be a natural goal scorer.
    Myself ,and many thousands of fans , could have told him last August that Joelinton is definitely
    not a natural goal scorer.


  4. sidekick, mate. Joe has not scored in 30 hours of PL playing time. Since his 1 goal at Spurs I think.

    He doesn’t seem like a bad player to me. Just cannot shoulder the whole burden and @40 mil (if that is true) he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.

    Play Gayle if he is fit FFS.

    And no hoofball.

    And no 9-0-1 formation.


  5. Olly: your prediction is 2 defensive mids in front of a MFing back 5. We haven’t been playing the wing-backs as wing backs.

    Excuse me whilst I go out and get a bottle of vodka and probably a gun to put to my head before I watch this game.


  6. Eric Sykes:
    Olly: your prediction is 2 defensive mids in front of a MFing back 5. We haven’t been playing the wing-backs as wing backs.

    Excuse me whilst I go out and get a bottle of vodka and probably a gun to put to my head before I watch this game.

    Very true. Need to move them deeper in my next formation post!


  7. I think the lineup is pretty hard to predict because we don’t know what the loan players have been told. Are they starters or backup?

    Rose was in and out of the team at Spurs and had been doing his share of moaning. You can bet Jose was aware of this and just wanted him out. There is no way the deal will be made permanent so Ritchie could start.

    Benteleb was banished to the U23s in a Rafa – Colback type move. Has hardly played in a year but the only way to get him fit is to play him. I reckon he is 1st sub after Bruce sees how Hayden and Longstaff do. If Sean has another quiet game he could be off quickly. We have an option to buy so we have to look at him.

    Lazaro – I reckon the only reason we got him was by guaranteeing playing time. I think he is ahead of Yedlin in the pecking order. At least for now.

    I think Schar starts ahead of Lejeune with Florian still not far removed from a very bad injury.


  8. A win today would give us a great opportunity to put some clear distance between us and the bottom 3 – who all have very tough fixtures this weekend.
    A win today and I’m confident we stay up – we’d still need another 4-5 Pts but I think we’d be fine.


  9. You have to presume we gave the loanees guarantees of playing time. Not really worried about Lazaru as Yedlin was the other option. Bentelab doesn’t have much competition with Sean off the boil and Matty being young. I think Rose is a mistake because Ritchie did very well as a wing back last year. They must never go in the video room!!!! I know we have one coz Rafa was always on about watching videos of our games.

    I have never really rated Rose. Hope I am wrong. Why would Spurs even loan him to us if they still thought was any good.


  10. FAO Steve Bruce:

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.


  11. These players look like they have stopped playing – this is awful!!.

    Yet another week were we are making our opponents look a better side than they are!.

    We are a disgrace here. Clearly hoping for another smash n grab.


  12. This is truly awful to watch, losing the will to live here like .
    How the hell can we be making this Palace team look good.


  13. Poor from the saint, miggy, longstaff, joe , expected a reaction after last week.
    Bruce needs to take the game to them , test that Palace defense ffs


  14. I’ve had to turn it off. It’s just embarrassing. There is so much wrong with the way this team play I can’t believe nobody at the club or in the press are highlighting it and actually pressing the club. It’s horrendous and basic.


  15. We’ve loaned players who have hardly had any playing time this year and we play all 3 of them. Its all well and good to have a look but they should be eased in because they cannot be match fit and they don’t know the system we play – if we even have one 🙂


  16. Even though we have the points on the board the performances are becoming Carver-esque and Ugly John had a much bigger injury crisis than Brucie Boy.


  17. Well that was a crap first half… omg we are just so s.hit… Dubravka playing out of his socks again. We are making Palace look like Liverpool…

    We will lose this now…


  18. It’s not about having good players. It’s about players not doing the basics correctly. Do they train?


  19. Getting annoyed with Bruce now who set us up to fail with the 3 new loanees who had played 1 game between them in the last 6 months. They also have to adapt. He didn’t have to do this with Ritchie and Gayle available.


  20. We probably have to hope 33/34 points is enough to stay up.

    Something to ponder. Our performances haven’t changed since the first game of the season. When we won we were really awful and when we lost it was the same. It really isn’t unthinkable that we only end up with about 33 points. Bruce looks uninspiring and completely and utterly inflexible.

    What’s the bloody, point?


  21. Sharpy17:
    FAO Steve Bruce:

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    I’m gonna take my own advice I think. That’s me done with watching NUFC anymore this season. I’ve wasted enough of my life one this halfwits.

    Bruce is proving now why he copped for as much stick at the start of the season – Lady Luck has left him high and dry now and his bubble has well and truly burst.

    Awful, just awful. We deserve a relegation battle the way we are playing.

    Bruce slates Joelinton but continues to pick him, despite the fact he’s carrying a knock – and now his winger who he’s playing right back will be missing for 3 games.

    Don’t you just love being a Geordie.


  22. For the love of god, just sell us Mike. Lets have an owner who wants to invest and grow this once proud club .
    That was an embarrassment today , absolutely shocking. I do not rate our chances against Burnley one bit.


  23. I can’t decide whether the players have given up and stopped playing for Bruce or are they just completely lost off tactics wise ??‍♂️.
    Is there things going on behind the scenes with players being disgruntled with contract negotiations.

    Something just feels completely off at the moment.

    But I know I won’t be wasting any more of my time watching them.


  24. Our under 23s would be better than this lot… I’m just so fu.cking depressed watching this pile of… Bruce is clueless, Joelinton is useless … to think we could have brought in a striker in Jan but Brucie said he could see anything better?? I would be better, and I’m 55 with 2 left feet… and I’d be cheaper than Joelinton too. Give me 5mil, and I can also run a bit and do nothing…


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