Palace (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, preferred line-up & score prediction

The last match preview looked ahead to life under new owners. Now, we can look ahead to a Newcastle United with a new man in the dugout.

For now, that will be Graeme Jones on an ‘interim’ basis, with it announced on Wednesday that Steve Bruce had left the club by ‘mutual consent.’

A sigh of relief filtered around Tyneside upon this news. He had to go and should’ve gone sooner if the truth be told, as last Sunday’s dreadful and utterly disorganised display against Spurs was another missed opportunity to add to our points tally.

On the subject of that, we’ll have to hope Graeme Jones can get a tune out of these players at Crystal Palace. He’s been given the next two games and will want to impress his new bosses – even if he’s believed to have received assurances from Amanda Staveley over his long-term future.

Will there be a ‘new manager’ boost and added zip to our play now he’s gone? At the very least, you’d like to think the players will want to impress any potential successor who will be watching on.

Either way, it’s imperative we start picking up wins and quickly, with Chelsea next weekend being followed by a trip to an in-form Brighton and our festive fixtures looking incredibly tough.

Team news

Things look pretty positive on the fitness front, with Graeme Jones confirming that we’ve almost got a fully fit squad now Martin Dubravka, Paul Dummett and Elliot Anderson are all back in training.

Saying that, Jonjo Shelvey will serve a one-match suspension after being sent off in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Spurs.

Miguel Almiron could also return to the starting XI now he’s recovered from his long trip to South America over the international break.

As for Palace, Wilfried Zaha is back after missing Palace’s 2-2 draw at Arsenal through illness, but this game will come too soon for Eberi Eze and Nathan Ferguson.

Preferred line up

(4-3-1-2): Darlow – Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Lewis – Hayden, S Longstaff, Willock Almiron – Saint-Maximin, Wilson.

In this section I usually name my predicted line up, but with Jones replacing Bruce as our ‘interim’ manager just a few days ago, it’s very difficult to say what he’ll go with.

One system we used soon after Jones arrived in January was a 4-3-1-2 formation. It had its issues, but worked superbly in wins over Everton (0-2) and Southampton (3-2) last season and I would be tempted to give it another go.

With Almiron in his favoured position and just ahead of the midfield three, they could be given more license to support our full-backs in wide areas, also allowing Saint-Maximin and Wilson to play as split strikers.

This would suit ASM, with him struggling with his defensive duties when played as a winger in Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to Spurs. He’s shone in a more free role this season and could be given more license to do damage in the final third in this formation – not be tasked to cover for full-backs against the likes of Wilfried Zaha.

It could be that Jones sticks to what the players are more familiar with, especially just a few days on from Bruce’s sacking, but big change to a formation that produced some of our best displays last season could be what this team needs.

As for Palace, I can see them setting up like this…

(4-2-3-1): Guaita – Ward, Andersen, Guehi, Mitchell – McCarthur, Milivojevic – Olise, Gallagher, Zaha – Edouard.

Match prediction

I’ve been eating my words when it comes to Crystal Palace so far this season.

They recruited very well over the summer, however I wasn’t sure how Patrick Viera would manage – especially in such a big transition for a club that was previously just plodding on under Roy Hodgson.

The Eagles were very unlucky not to win at Arsenal on Monday and have a host of exciting attackers. The fact the league’s worst defence is facing Zaha, Gallagher and Edouard doesn’t fill me with a great deal of confidence.

However, we’ll have to hope Jones injects some life and new ideas into a side that looked tired of Steve Bruce’s tactics, not to mention they’ll be out to impress any potential replacement.

I can’t see us winning and fear a confidence Palace might blow us away, but will go for a high-scoring draw.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 2-2 Newcastle

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!

74 thoughts on “Palace (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, preferred line-up & score prediction

  1. given that two of the managerial candidates favour 3-4-2-1 (Diamond 4 ?) perhaps
    Dubravka – Dummett, Schar, Fernandez – Lewis, Hayden (DM), Willock (AM), Murphy – ASM, Almiron – Wilson


  2. It’s not going to be popular but we need to go back to what was getting us points last season imo – 3-4-1-2 as that’s what this group of players know.

    I don’t know who’s fit and who’s not for CBs. Manq at RWB, don’t mind between Ritchie or Lewis LWB.

    Longstaff & Hayden midfield with Willock behind Wilson & Saint.

    They don’t have to be pretty just start getting points on the board.


  3. I read something in The Chronic earlier this week that although Dummett was back in traing it was not with the group. Says he is still a way away, and probably Chelsea at the eatliest.


  4. Saw Jones’ interviews and he handled himself well. Some thought he was a bit to deferential and polite about Bruce. Have they never been to a job interview? You will inevitably be asked about your previous employer and the number 1 rule is to not slag them off. You can say you had differences of opinion but you also have to have some positives in there otherwise it can raise red flags about your own character.


  5. Hopefully we will get a new manager next week so we can move away from the Bruce era. Pep saying it is terrible the abuse Managers take on social media. I think most dont read it, or they have an assistant/intern filter it. That’s what I would do.

    I dont get what people get out of being abusive. I mean really abusive and not just calling someone a cabbage.

    A blog is social media and occasionally there are nasty comments. The Mag absolutely hate Bruce, but even there it doesnt get that personal.

    Speaking for myself, I get riled up with his lies and half truths. However, I think I get even more annoyed at his pundit pals getting paid to spread these lies. They should be watching our games if they are paid to comment and it is obvious that most only watch Match of the Day. I dont blame them because most of our games are dreadful. But that’s the point, if they watched our games they would know that. And if they paid attention to Bruce;s press conference they would know he is not Mr Nice Guy.

    Please appoint a new Manager so I can move on 🙂


  6. I think we should get Dubravka back in ASAP. I dont think Darlow is a bad ‘keeper now but some of his decision making is still a bit suspect. Dubs commands the box more and seems to be able to organize the defense. We need that if we play Lascelles who has been a liability. Darlow doesnt really seem to be forthcoming in telling his defense what he wants.

    The other thing I want is to stop playing hoofball. I know we do not have the players to always play out from defense but the tactic should not be play it back to the keeper and hoof it to Donkey. Nor should it be give it to ASM and Miggy and expect them to take on 3 players from our half. If we still do either of these then you would have to question Jones, but I live in hope.

    This is the team that finished 12th. I would contend that that was a false position but it was what it was. So this team should not be where we are, especially with a fully fit Wilson, Fraser, Willock now. Dubs is the only 1st team player out as a lot of NUFC fans would not have Dummett in the team. I disagree but there are many who dont really rate Paul.


  7. The Fatman gets rightly blamed for a lot, especially Net Spend up until Rafa left, letting the infrastructure run down and choice of Managers. However, he did spend money recently. If you look at our player costs, how can we go down. Somebody needs shooting if we do (Nickson?):

    Lewis 15 mil
    Ritchie 10 mil
    Willock 25 mil
    Miggy 20 mil
    Donkey 40 mil
    ASM 16 mil
    Wilson 20 mil
    Fraser – was once valued at approx 20 mil

    We have really only lost Perez since Rafa left and he blew hot and cold – still does.

    I have also watched Toney a bit – what was Rafa thinking?


  8. And… just coz Frazer was a free transfer people do not seem to rate him. I am sure his wages are high because he was a free. Arsenal were said to be interested at one point and he had that brilliant season with Wilson. There is a player there. He needs to play more.

    What the above shows is that the defense has been criminally neglected because apart from Lewis we have spent next to nowt there. Ricthie is not a defender!!!

    And… more. We better get set pices sorted at both ends. That is one thing Fraser brings to the attack, he can take a decent corner which Longstaff cannot. Ritchie is good one week and sh!t the next.


  9. I hope we get a draw at worst at Palace.

    There was a bit of criticism about keeping Bruce for his 1000th game. I think that was a mistake. His pettiness since, in his interview with Luke Edwards, showed that he deserves nothing from us, from NUFC!

    I think it is also a mistake keeping The Steves short term. They came as a package with Bruce and should have left as a package. They are dead men walking now as well so why keep them around?

    I would rather be short handed than be coached by clowns.

    I am not even sure about Jones. I am certain he was hired above Bruce’s head, whatever compliments he wants to pay him in the media. However, should we just sever ties with the lot of them? Move on? Maybe there is enough distance between Bruce and Jones that he can stay. But the Steves… they have to go.


  10. EVEN MORE:

    Lest people get ahead of themselves because Jones can give a decent interview.

    He was sacked by Luton as their Manager when they were 23rd in The Championship.

    He is not the answer as Manager, but let’s see if he can coach?


  11. Let’s look at Jones. He seems to be a good coach but sh!t Manager – 23rd in The Championship is not good. He might be overwhelmed with all that goes on in the life of a Manager but can focus on coaching when that is his job?

    It is not that much different than in other walks of life. In a restaurant, you might have a great chef and a great waiter, but they might not be good at each others’ jobs.


  12. On 5 live last night the pundits laid into the fans for the abuse Bruce got. Nobody mentioned 7 wins in 38 games.
    He got rid of himself.


  13. Geoegio: Bruce never really got that much abuse. The fans werent in SJP during Covid and the press went easy on him. He wasnt even on twitter FFS and then he brings his wife into it.

    As I have said for a long time, he is a coward, a blamer and a quiet blusterer, foisting all of his sins onto other people. And still his pundit pals stick up for Mr Nice Guy. Does he have Dorian Gray-like pictures of them in his attic?


  14. What is abuse? Again, I do not have twitter so cannot speak for what some of those morons have said. But is calling Bruce “fat” abuse? If it is then every time Ricky Gervais gets on stage he is self abusing. Doubtfire? Cabbage? This is all pretty tame stuff if you ask me.

    And then the cabbage attacks everybody in his own pathetic defense and nobody calls him on it. I will bring his wife up again because I have never seen any manager justify their sacking on the effect it has had on his wife before. He is saying he might retire to save his wife from seeing him “abused”. What at total pathetic excuse of a man, I thought I had seen it all but now he hides behind his wife!!!

    Nice guy though? Bellend!


  15. If that is true Icedog then we will be well in. They will have their arses handed to them on a stick for restraint of trade and anti-competitive actions. The compensation from the clubs and PL will probably buy us MBappe and the entire Ajax squad 🙂

    Norwich not doing too well today. 4-0 on 57 mins.


  16. icedog:
    so all PL clubs say they will not do transfers with the toon,wtf 😈

    Ice – papertalk mate. At the end of the day football is a business now and players are simply assets.
    Each club can only name 25 players in their squads – if clubs have players on their books that aren’t pushing for a place in the starting 11 – that aren’t selling those shirts or aren’t falling in line with contract negotiations, then they aren’t worth keeping.
    With the smaller clubs, the players and agents will force the agenda to jump on the train & smaller clubs will take the fee coz they are still recovering from COVID and couldn’t afford to lose players cheaply.
    The bigger clubs need to keep pace with the massive fees in modern day football, so will happily sell fringe players for £30-40m – like City did to cover the £100m for Grealish – only they will charge us £50-60m for the same player.

    There isn’t a great deal of money in football just now and whilst they might not like it, the Saudi money will spend as good as anyone else’s.


  17. Its all a matter of who blinks first as well. I think if we offer 20 mil for Lingard the Glazers would take it. They would not want to be sued for restraint of trade. Same with Burnley and Tarkowsky.

    We have already seen with the European Super League that they have the best laid plans and then when you call their bluff they cave.


  18. Hope we can finally get 3 points today… I’m not sold on Jones and hope it’s really just 2 games. Although I’d be happier if it was just one game…

    I saw the story about other clubs refusing to deal with us.. unbelievable! You’d think we were bought by Satan himself! Their fear is palpable! But, they cannot do that as it is unlawful I’m sure! Players themselves may have something to say about that too!
    2-1 to the Toon today! 🤞🤞


  19. I might actually write an article for once as this is turning into a bizarre situation where the PL and the clubs let City, Abramovich, American Hedge Funds and King Power run free to plunder the riches of the PL but draw the line when it comes to NUFC. Not to mention Bruce, because I think the defense of that fat fck is all part of this conspiracy. And I do not apologize for calling him a fat fck. Even if it hurts his wife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  20. At the risk of being accused of pouring water on the new ownership – the length of time it is taking to get a new manager in worries me.

    If the rumours are to be believed, then the front runners are Fonseca, Lampard, Favre, Martinez and Emery – I don’t think Emery is leaving Villarreal any time soon, and certainly not to return to the PL.

    So looking at the rest – there is only Martinez currently employed and apparently has a £2m release clause – hardly big money. He could be a consideration if they have asked Jones who he would want to work with. For his interview yesterday Jones spoke really well and said he watched Super Mac as a kid & followed the club through the KK era – he could be the man to keep the club values & therefore they want to have someone in to work with him – Martinez would fit that bill.

    The other 2 are out of work which obviously keeps negotiations pretty easy really.

    So what worries me is the main contenders for the job are really quite accessible – probably more accessible than Bruce was to get in weirdly.
    This isn’t about holding out for their man to become available – this is about the newbies not being able to agree on who they want!! – and that is worrying imo.

    The latest is that Jones could be in charge for the next 3 games. That would be close to 6 weeks to replace Bruce – that doesn’t fill me with confidence at all.


  21. Jones has gone 5 at the back and left out Willock and MIggy.

    Fraser in though. Hopefully can link up with Wilson like he did in that magic season at B’mth.


  22. Ice/Eric – we have to remember these are the same people who were ready to break away and create a Super League – all in the chase of more money. So it makes no sense that they would turn their back on the Saudi big bucks imo.


  23. Sharpy17: Ice – papertalk mate.At the end of the day football is a business now and players are simply assets.
    Each club can only name 25 players in their squads – if clubs have players on their books that aren’t pushing for a place in the starting 11 – that aren’t selling those shirts or aren’t falling in line with contract negotiations, then they aren’t worth keeping.
    With the smaller clubs, the players and agents will force the agenda to jump on the train & smaller clubs will take the fee coz they are still recovering from COVID and couldn’t afford to lose players cheaply.
    The bigger clubs need to keep pace with the massive fees in modern day football, so will happily sell fringe players for £30-40m – like City did to cover the £100m for Grealish – only they will charge us £50-60m for the same player.

    There isn’t a great deal of money in football just now and whilst they might not like it, the Saudi money will spend as good as anyone else’s.

    hope your right mate,seems very petty imo


  24. Eric – well he’s dropped Joelinton to give Fraser his chance – he’s certainly a greater goal threat imo & set pieces should be better.
    But he’s gone with Krafth in the back 3 – was that his influence when Bruce was there – it was never one I was convinced with like.

    I do think the 3 CBs is the right call though.

    Longer term I’ve always liked the 4-3-3 formation. But this group of places know the 3 at the back formation best & we need to tighten that defence up.


  25. Sharpy, mate. I have no clue about today, especially since Willock is on the bench and was our main goal threat at the back end of last season. We’ll see. Cannot possibly be as bad as Spurs.

    Dropping Donkey is a good start. Hopefully we will not play hoofball.


  26. Shearer is in LA doing the American coverage. They are having a TV fan fest and Big Al is centre stage.


  27. Palace looking stronger so far.

    On the talk of PL clubs refusing to do business with us re players, I was totally expecting that to be the next thing they would try. Acting like spoiled brats now, is it even legal ?
    If I was a player wanting to come here and my club refused to sell me to Toon I would see out my contract so they got nowt for me from anyone.


  28. 2o mins.

    Do we have like 2% possession here?

    Jones seems to have learnt the 8-0-2 system well from Master Brucie. The Bruce Force is strong in Jonsey young Skywalker.


  29. Eric, he’s in charge of next game too, worrying. Who ever comes in as coach/manager has one hell of a job on his hands.


  30. Gilly, it’s frightening isn’t it, as poor a toon side as I ever seen. All that good organisation work Rafa did has just gone up in a puff of smoke. 👿 🙁


  31. What the hell was that? We didnt even come close to having a shot. If Jones’s tactics are Krafth long throws we may as well get BFS in. We need a new Manager. Has Jones been tainted by Bruce or has he always been this way.

    Luton were 23rd in The Championship when he was sacked.

    I know next to nothing about Jones, but so far this has not been a good audition for him to keep his job as a coach even.


  32. Has the paint dried yet? I am sick of watching it.

    Has the grass grown? I am sick of watching that as well.


  33. We need to swap Frazer for Willock imo and get better control of that midfield – try and get a bit more possession which sits at around 22% at the moment.

    Game over – Benteke goal.

    When will they learn you can’t win a game without the bast@rd ball man!!.

    Jones the saviour 🙄.


  34. We have done nothing in 57 mins. We deserve to be down. Now, let’s see if Jones has anything about him.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?


  35. I hate to be this negative but he was 23rd in the Championship with Luton when he was sacked.


  36. Wow, I’ll take that draw after that shocking first half. Not a great watch though. Palace had so many chances. We got lucky there.

    And the Mackems lost at home to Charlton again! 😂😂😂


  37. A point, which is good considering. That also must have dispelled any myths that Jones is in the running for the job. I never knew who he was before he came to NUFC and never bought into the hocus pocus that he was our saviour. It was ABB – anybody but Bruce.

    Now Bruce is gone we should get serious and not hang our hat on a failed Luton Manager.

    I have said for weeks on here that we should clear out the lot of them including Jones and that just proved it today.

    We were a shambles again.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    Now you know why Jones was so complementary about Bruce – because he is just a fcn bad!!


  38. What were our tactics today?

    Play the Bruce 8-0-2 but never actually play it to the 2 up front?

    Give them the ball and hope Benteke is as bad as he usually is?


  39. I really didnt like Bruce in the end but I also never bought into the myth of Graeme Jones. And why are the other 2 Steves still at NUFC. They should all have been cleared out along with Nickson and Harper.

    #All Steves Must Leave

    #Along With Graeme Jones.

    #New Broom Sweeps Clean


  40. And I was saying it BEFORE the game. That Jones was 23 of 24 in The Championship before he got sacked by Luton. Yes, Luton. So I am not saying this after the fact. Jones came across well in the interviews, but that means nothing. 23 of 24 is what counts and the fact we “poached” him from Bournemouth.

    I dont even care that he was part of the England set up. The only thing holding England back now is Southgate so I dont trust his judgement.


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