Crystal Palace (A): Predicted line-ups, pre-match thoughts & team news

After expecting a response following that dismal defeat at Southampton and failing to get anything close to one against Chelsea, there’ll be absolutely no room for excuses if we aren’t ‘at it’ here.

Steve Bruce’s ‘work in progress’ needs to start working – he’s had over 16 months to find a formation that works and implement this ‘exciting’ brand of football he vowed to move towards – and the players need to wake up from the comatose state ‘Bruce-ball’ has left them in, with the lack of energy, fight or intensity pretty alarming in our last two defeats.

Results are finally starting to reflect the abysmal level of performance we’re seeing most weekends, yet the fixtures awaiting us between now and Boxing Day look VERY generous on paper.

We start with a trip to Palace, then play Villa, West Brom, Leeds and Fulham before our Cup quarter final at Brentford – fixtures that could either see Bruce hit back at the haters and steady what we fear is a sinking ship, or see us smash into an iceberg and be embroiled in a relegation scrap should our awful performances continue.

For me, we’re now entering one of the most crucial periods of Steve Bruce’s time in charge.

A much improved performance and much needed win at Palace may just ease fan frustrations or lift that turgid level of apathy that’s taken over most on matchdays, but lose via another soulless display and we’ll be entering the festive period in free fall.

Team news

Steve Bruce has confirmed that we have a few niggles and a couple of COVID concerns – and rumour is that the latter will see Isaac Hayden miss out.

Allan Saint-Maximin is also missing with a ‘calf injury’ – although The Mail’s Craig Hope claims he was set to be dropped before he picked up a knock.

The good news, however, is that Callum Wilson WILL return for this one after training all week, while Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie are expected to feature after making a full recovery from recent operations.

Jamaal Lascelles is a ‘doubt’, Ryan Fraser has been ruled out, Andy Carroll has a ‘calf inury’, Dwight Gayle is back in training but unlikely to return to action this weekend and both Martin Dubravka and Paul Dummett remain sidelined.

For the hosts, Wilfried Zaha is missing with COVID-19, while Luka Milivojevic remains suspended.

Predicted line up

(4-2-3-1): Darlow – Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis – Shelvey, S Longstaff – Ritchie, Almiron, Joelinton – Wilson.

Who knows what he’ll go with, but I’m hoping we revert back to a four-man defence here – and see absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t.

Darlow will continue in goal and, if we return to a back four, I can see Clark keeping his place and starting alongside Fernandez IF Lascelles does miss out.

If the skipper is fit, I think it may be Fernandez who drops out (providing we go with a back four), with the usually rock-solid Argentine making costly errors in our last two games.

At full-back, Lewis is the only option down the left, but it’ll be interesting to see if Bruce goes sticks with Manquillo or hands a recall to Krafth.

I personally think the Spaniard is our best right-back, although Bruce has often opted for the Swede when he’s gone with a four-man defence…

In the middle of the park, Sean Longstaff was one of very few who did OK against Chelsea, so he looks likely to partner the returning Jonjo Shelvey now Hayden’s rumoured to be missing with COVID.

In attack, I have a feeling Bruce will bring Matt Ritchie back into the side given our lack of energy and bite in recent weeks, so can see him starting down the right.

Jacob Murphy is an option, but he struggled against Chelsea and may drop down to the bench for this one.

Now we know Saint-Maximin will be missing, Joelinton could operate down the left, with Almiron back in a No 10 role just behind the returning Wilson.

The opposition

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

Eberechi Eze – With Wilfried Zaha ruled out with COVID, they’ll be hoping to see their exciting new left winger step up in his absence. Eze is a player I really wanted us to go for over the summer, being skilful, direct and technically gifted. He put in his best display for the Eagles in their 4-1 win over Leeds (their last game at Selhurst Park) and could be the big one to watch here.

Patrick Van Aanholt – The former NUFC loanee is fit again and loves to get forward. He scored against us in this fixture last season and could pose a threat again if we give them too much freedom down that left-hand side.

Michy Batshuayi – The Belgian on loan from Chelsea is yet to score for them in the league this season, but he is another they’ll be turning to in Zaha’s absence. He is offside a LOT and can be on the fringes of games, however he’s a ruthless finisher on his day. Hopefully Wilson outdoes him in that department here.

Predicted Palace XI(4-4-2): Guiata – Clyne, Cahill, Kouyate, Van Aanholt – Townsend, McCarthur, Riedawald, Eze – Ayew, Batshuayi.

Prediction

I’m semi-expecting Bruce to go with a more attacking formation and ring the changes. Something different is certainly needed, as a performance anything like our last two will see us beaten.

Palace are without Zaha, but have a few more attacking outlets these days in Eze and Batshuayi and don’t give much away at the back either.

With them without their talisman and us having Wilson back, this should be a game we attack in search of a much needed win, but I think we’ll be cautious no matter what the formation and Crystal Palace tough to break down.

Fearing another defeat, hoping for a welcome win, but predicting a low-scoring draw!

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle

HWTL!

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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.

47 thoughts on “Crystal Palace (A): Predicted line-ups, pre-match thoughts & team news

  1. On paper we have a good team, except Bruce doesnt play on paper. We play 9-0-1 no matter how many attckers we put out there.

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  2. Eric Sykes:
    Olly: I will go with you again on this team apart from Krafth will be in for Manquillo.

    Think you might be right!

    Bruce seems to like Krafth when he’s playing a back four. I still reckon Manquillo is our best RB, mind.

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  3. I look at this fixture and can’t call it one way or another.
    There is no reason why we should beat them, but I thought the same against Saints and look at how that one went???.

    It depends which NUFC turns up really, but on what I’ve watched in the last couple of games, I fear we get beat.

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  4. Bris – from the last article, are you suggesting that this pandemic has had no financial impact on the UK??

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  5. We will get beat by about 2 clear goals today.

    Bris – from the last thread – you’re a socialist and socialism hasn’t been proved to work anywhere. You talk of computers and spreadsheets. That’s exactly what your view of the world is based on, not facts and history.

    It’s standard supply and demand. The more £ in circulation due to QE the less it’s worth. The less it’s worth, well you know the rest…

    Allowing the BoE to just QE as much money as they want has consequences. Investors start to get worried that their investment is worth less and start charging higher interest rates which in turn gets passed on to mortgage holders and we all know where that leads.

    Although interestingly you left Venezuela off your list of explanation of inflation. The country with the biggest known oil reserves on the planet. I’d say that’s a pretty reasonable resource – or it was over the last five years. They fired off all the private companies and pro Capitalist oil companies and brought it into public sector. That went well… Socialism for you I suppose.

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  6. Stuart79:
    We will get beat by about 2 clear goals today.

    Bris – from the last thread – you’re a socialist and socialism hasn’t been proved to work anywhere. You talk of computers and spreadsheets. That’s exactly what your view of the world is based on, not facts and history.

    It’s standard supply and demand. The more £ in circulation due to QE the less it’s worth. The less it’s worth, well you know the rest…

    Allowing the BoE to just QE as much money as they want has consequences. Investors start to get worried that their investment is worth less and start charging higher interest rates which in turn gets passed on to mortgage holders and we all know where that leads.

    Although interestingly you left Venezuela off your list of explanation of inflation. The country with the biggest known oil reserves on the planet. I’d say that’s a pretty reasonable resource – or it was over the last five years. They fired off all the private companies and pro Capitalist oil companies and brought it into public sector. That went well… Socialism for you I suppose.

    That’s a bit of rambling argument Stewie. You auditioning to be a Trump speach writer?

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  7. Eric Sykes: That’s a bit of rambling argument Stewie. You auditioning to be a Trump speach writer?

    It’s an argument, Eric. One I notice you haven’t tried to counter…

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  8. One good thing about this lockdown and the jobs cull will be that there’ll be no jobs left for Brexit to be blamed for losing.

    Personally I’d leave the EU negotiations and set a recovery in motion by de regulating the economy, slashing business taxes and unilaterally slash tariffs for certain imports which won’t affect our own manufacturing. I’d also give incentives for new manufacturing business’.

    We need to be radical.

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  9. Stuart79: It’s an argument, Eric. One I notice you haven’t tried to counter…

    I can if you want. Inflation and interest rates are both at their lowest in years. Unemployment in the US was at historic lows, not because of Trump but for other reasons. The Laffer Curve(stupidest economic theory ever, “tricke down” – more like golden shower) and the Phillips Curve have both been debunked. And Kevin Phillips is an idiot. But, this is a football blog 🙂

    Bruce was going to drop St Max?

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  10. try coaching Steve FFS. Get the best out of your best player and play him in his best position. And dont ask him to do it all himself so he gets hacked by 3 players every time he gets the ball.

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  11. Stewie: It is not a “JOBS CULL” that implies a choice. It is massive worldwide unemployment caused by a pandemic.

    You seemed pretty smart when I met you. I am beginning to doubt my first impression now.

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  12. Stuart79:
    One good thing about this lockdown and the jobs cull will be that there’ll be no jobs left for Brexit to be blamed for losing.

    Personally I’d leave the EU negotiations and set a recovery in motion by de regulating the economy, slashing business taxes and unilaterally slash tariffs for certain imports which won’t affect our own manufacturing. I’d also give incentives for new manufacturing business’.

    We need to be radical.

    That has to be the stupidest comment I have ever read on here. And your competition is Troy Stavers.

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  13. Stewie: privatise everything!!! Or, you should get sick over here mate without insurance and see how that works out for you!!!! The private sector has made the American Health Care System the most expensive in the world and millionaires out of every Doctor. 3 times the cost of New Zealand and twice the cost of Germany. And the care is not any better.

    I have done financial planning for many, many Drs over here and see what they make. Most have good hearts but they also dump their girlfriends for a newer, more attractive model after they graduate. With fake t!ts.

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  14. The same prescription drugs cost 3 times more in the US than Canada. Capitalism can mean just pure greed sometimes!

    But you know best. Cutting taxes and slashing services is always best. Right, Stewie?

    Letting people go to food banks is the best way.

    D!ckensian!!!

    Let’s go back to poor houses and waifs crawling up chimneys. How many Tiny Tims do we need this Christmas?

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  15. You have just essentially called me stupid for having an opinion you haven’t countered apart from a few very loose obvious points like telling us where interest rates are…

    But I’ll pull you up on one of your points which was wrong. Unemployment was a choice. The government had a choice. They didn’t have to close the entire economy – twice!

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  16. You’re sounding like David Eyke, Eric. You’re talking like this virus is indiscriminate and has a 50% death rate. Look at the facts before you start replying to my points with your rather low level responses.

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  17. Eric Sykes:
    Stewie: privatise everything!!! Or, you should get sick over here mate without insurance and see how that works out for you!!!! The private sector has made the American Health Care System the most expensive in the world and millionaires out of every Doctor. 3 times the cost of New Zealand and twice the cost of Germany. And the care is not any better.

    I have done financial planning for many, many Drs over here and see what they make. Most have good hearts but they also dump their girlfriends for a newer, more attractive model after they graduate. With fake t!ts.

    No idea where I said “privatise everything” but there you are… Anybody would think you’re building up a false argument that might fit your view… 😂

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  18. Stuart79:
    You’re sounding like David Eyke, Eric. You’re talking like this virus is indiscriminate and has a 50% death rate. Look at the facts before you start replying to my points with your rather low level responses.

    Do you want to talk about The Laffer Curve and The Phillips Curve? Happy to!

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  19. Stewie: you always say the same Thatcherite stuff man.

    “Leave the poor to get on with it as they are all spongers anyway and we rich people will take care of ourselves and drive our Range Rovers”.

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  20. Stuart: I think I will just call you Stuart Trump from now on, Your madness knows no bounds. Thatcher was sane compared to Trump… So, it is Stuart Trump.

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  21. Eric Sykes:
    Stewie: you always say the same Thatcherite stuff man.

    “Leave the poor to get on with it as they are all spongers anyway and we rich people will take care of ourselves and drive our Range Rovers”.

    Can you back that up with evidence or is it rambling again?

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  22. ASM out of today’s match. Is it a coincidence that it was rumoured that Bruce was planning on benching him?

    Either way it gives us a chance of winning like there’s a chance of The Beatles reforming.

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  23. Stuart79:
    ASM out of today’s match. Is it a coincidence that it was rumoured that Bruce was planning on benching him?

    Either way it gives us a chance of winning like there’s a chance of The Beatles reforming.

    He could be the one with Covid?

    Why are they not telling us who has Covid? I dont really care that much, but I dont like the fact they are hiding it. For what reason? The insurance money? Trump Out.

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  24. Those dreaded two words that you never want to hear from a commentator ……….. Here’s Joelinton… 😳😳😳🤬

    Shocking first half. So negative

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  25. Well it looks like Palace have hung a barn door over their goal – and Joelinton can’t hit it again!!!

    He’s in what you’d say is his preferred position tonight. He’s not an out and out forward – but he should still be able to finish these chances.

    I’m sure Bruce will pat him on the back at the end though.

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  26. We’ve pressed quite well today. At least look like we know how to do it. But toothless you front as usual and Darlow our best player again…

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  27. I’m sorry but a cardboard cut out would be better than joelinton. He’s just not good enough. If we’d paid £10m I’d be asking questions…

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  28. Get that £40m waste of f@cking space off!!!. Seriously it’s not doing anyone any favours him staying in the team now!!.

    Get him out a put one of the bairns in – they can’t do any worse.

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  29. Callum Wilson comes to the rescue!!

    Good win on paper – but paves over the cracks.

    One man front line coz Joelinton was horse sh!t again tonight!!

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  30. A win but not convincing but a win. Where would we be without Wilson… a better performance though all in all.

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  31. I’ve seen comments ‘a good night for Joelinton – an assist and a goal’

    He did a lot more things wrong badly tonight than the 2 good things he did in the last 2 mins of the game.

    He should have got at least 1 goal earlier imo.

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  32. Right I’ve calmed a bit now. Joelinton frustrated the hell out of me night.

    2-0 is a good win, and we didn’t play too bad either – I think we deserved the win of the 2 teams tonight.

    Good on Joelinton for his assist and goal, but it was defo a numbers game – he should have done better tonight.

    Was that a more balanced formation tonight or did Palace play poorly?!.

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  33. Half our team were just AWOL. good win, but Palace were awful. Darlow immense again when needed. Where was Hendrik, Longstaff, … ? But hey, we won. Not pretty but we managed a win. I’ll take it. 👍.

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  34. Must say I’m baffled by those saying Joelinton was awful aside from a late assist + goal. Feel like too many are now focusing on the misses (ok they weren’t great) and totally missing the much improved link up play, graft and ability to create space for others now he’s being played in a second striker role that suits him much more.

    Anyway, new thread!

    https://www.nufcblog.co.uk/2020/11/27/crystal-palace-0-2-newcastle-wilson-joelinton-inspire-nufc-to-late-win-in-london/

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  35. Sharpy17: Bris – from the last article, are you suggesting that this pandemic has had no financial impact on the UK??

    Not saying that at all. Of course there’ll be an effect; it’s inevitable that there’ll be a downturn in the economy – due to both Covid and Brexit. My point is that the effect isn’t going to be that the BoE is going to run out of money. That’s an absurd concept. As is the notion that your children have to pay for it. That sort of framing is a con job. If it was the Chinese saying it we’d call it propaganda.

    Much of the effect can be ameliorated by government policy – though your government is probably likely to make things worse. Just you wait … they’ll soon start talking about hard choices and the need for balancing the books. That’s not economics, that’s ideology.

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  36. So that’s the decent query. Now to handle Stu’s ignorance – you really should read something beyond the Fascist Propaganda Weekly or QAnon.

    I didn’t mention Venezuela because I don’t know enough about the situation there to comment, and, unlike you, I’m not comfortable making comments out of ignorance. However, I do know that Venezuela had (and maybe still do) their currency pegged to the USD. That means they don’t have a sovereign currency in the same way as UK, USA and Australia have. I don’t know the politics there and don’t know their relationship to the US, politically, so can’t give any real analysis.

    I’m a socialist? Hmm, I wonder. I don’t identify as a socialist. I identify as a progressive. I long ago decided that social democratic parties were as much the problem as any right wing fruitcake regime. This is especially true in UK, USA and Australia, and, I believe, in a few other countries (but I don’t know enough about them to comment – though I’ve some idea about what happens in the Eurozone).

    I identify as a humanitarian. I think that governments should run countries for the benefit of its citizens rather than a select few. I think the public purse should be used for the public good, to help the people in the country realise their potential, to house people, to feed them, to educate them, to free them from poverty, to reflect the moral values of the people.

    I also think that democracy is about electing the most representative government possible. I think it is a travesty that the rich 1% have hijacked the process. Our government’s stakeholders are those who contribute to the party, not the people who elect them. The voters are simply a distraction that needs to be manipulated every few years.

    My focus is on people having some control of their destiny. If that makes me a socialist then so be it. It’s not my fault that empathy and morality has a left wing bias.

    All the rest of the stuff you squawk about is not going to be dignified with a response. I can’t believe that anyone can be so in the pocket of a corrupt and lying ideology. Unless you’re just trolling. That’s the only logical explanation for one human being to be so anti-humanity. Or maybe you are just a sociopath.

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