After a remarkable victory over Chelsea, Crystal Palace travel north to face a rather impressive Newcastle United side. The Eagles’ lack of an out-and-out striker hardly effected them when Chelsea visited Selhurst Park, as they scored their first two goals of the season against the champions. Palace have regained the confidence which seemed to have gone missing in their previous seven matches.
Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace: Match Preview
Wilfried Zaha will look to provide the goals in Christian Benteke’s absence. The Ivorian returned from injury in style against Chelsea scoring the game-winning goal on the stroke of half-time. His ability to create chances and punish the opposition’s defence was evident throughout. Roy Hodgson’s decision to deploy the 24-year-old along with Andros Townsend in attack proved hugely successful in breaking up Chelsea’s back-line, and the two will likely remain Palace’s attacking options when they take on Newcastle.
Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek might be fit to return for the trip, and having been arguably the Eagles’ most promising attacking threat during Zaha’s absence, his inclusion could easily benefit the Eagles. With the speed amongst Zaha, Townsend and Loftus-Cheek, more goals could be on their way.
As long as Palace stay compact and solid in the back, Newcastle may struggle to find the back of the net. The awareness of both Joselu and Ayoze Perez isn’t something Palace will want to test. Both Spanish strikers will be ready to punish any mistake and might prove deadly if awarded a chance in front of goal. Palace’s defenders, as well as Luka Milivojevic and Yohan Cabaye, must limit the service into the attacking pair.
Defending set pieces will be something the club has surely worked on during the week. After conceding yet another set piece against Chelsea, Palace’s defence along with the goalkeeper must take command in their own box. Newcastle are no strangers to knicking one from a corner and they’ll be aware of the Eagles’ set piece struggles.
The Magpies will gladly welcome Crystal Palace to the north of England. They haven’t lost at home since the first match of the season against Spurs. Since then, they’ve defeated West Ham and Stoke City before holding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw. Coming off a 2-2 draw away to Southampton, Newcastle need to get back to winning ways and they will be disappointed with anything but three points when Palace come to town.
With Matt Ritchie in the form he’s in, Newcastle’s midfield could make all the difference. He does it all on both sides of the ball. In possession, the Scottish international almost dictates his side’s attack. He is quite literally everywhere on the pitch, providing service into the box or sitting just in behind the strikers. On the defensive side, he shows an urgency in getting the ball back by quickly putting pressure on the man in possession. Jonjo Shelvey will also have an important role in the distribution of the ball. Whilst sitting back more in the midfield, Shelvey’s long ball threat could provide the attackers with a chance or two.
Regarding the Magpies’ defence, there’s not too much to write home about. They have proven to be beatable and, as against Southampton, can fall victim to a crucial individual error or two. Zaha and Townsend’s quick pace and agility will be a stern test for Newcastle’s backline.
Palace will kick off on Saturday full of confidence and certain that they can continue on their upward trend. A top half of the table Newcastle will be hungry to give their fans something to cheer about and ruin the Eagles’ fantastic week.
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