Crystal Palace v Newcastle United




Andros Townsend, formerly with Newcastle, has been directly involved in five goals in his last six Premier League appearances for Palace, scoring once and providing four assists.TEAM NEWS

Crystal Palace have been dealt a blow with top scorer Bakary Sako ruled out for the season with a fractured ankle.

Ex-Newcastle player Yohan Cabaye is set to replace him, while Mamadou Sakho is in line to return and new striker Alexander Sorloth is also in the squad.

Newcastle will assess new signing Islam Slimani’s thigh problem.

New goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is available and Rob Elliott is now fit but Florian Lejeune and Jesus Gamez again miss out.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Conor McNamara: “Considering Palace didn’t even score a goal until their eighth league game of the season, Roy Hodgson has already produced a miraculous recovery since taking charge.

“It has long been accepted that football is a religion on Tyneside and Newcastle fans have noticed their squad now contains players called: Islam (Slimani), Christian (Atsu), Mohamed (Diame) and Jesus (Gamez).

“Starting this weekend just one point above the relegation zone, Rafa Benitez will take all the divine inspiration he can get. However, Newcastle were denied victory in midweek by a penalty save from a goalkeeper called Pope.

“The footballing Gods work in mysterious ways.”

Twitter: @ConorMcNamaraIE

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: “Things are different from when we last met Newcastle. We were so far divorced from safety at that stage and now we aren’t.

“It’s foolish to think our problems are at an end, we’ve just given ourselves a chance.

“To concede that late header last time was a major blow. We lost a point and gave Newcastle all three. (I’m) expecting a tight game.”

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: “They are a good team with very good players. It is a difficult stadium and a difficult place to get points. But we must have confidence we can do it. It is very close at the bottom and for us it is another challenge to survive.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Crystal Palace are only one place above Newcastle but I think they will run out pretty comfortable winners.

Prediction: 2-0

Lawro’s full predictions v NFL stars Emmanuel Sanders and Josh Norman

Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

Crystal Palace have won one and lost four of their six Premier League home meetings against Newcastle, but their only victory was by a 5-1 scoreline when they last met at Selhurst Park in November 2015.Newcastle have won 10 and lost just one of their last 14 matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions.

Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have lost just one of their last nine Premier League home games and kept clean sheets in each of the last two. The Eagles have taken 16 points from a possible 27 during this run and are looking to secure back-to-back home wins for the first time since April 2017.Palace have lost only three of their 16 league matches since a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle in the reverse fixture and would be eighth in the table based on results since that game; Newcastle would be bottom of the league over the same period, with only two wins and 10 losses. They have failed to score in any of their three league matches against last season’s three promoted clubs, despite 34 attempts on goal in those games.Christian Benteke has failed to score in all 10 of his league appearances at Selhurst Park this season, despite playing 780 minutes and having 22 shots.

Newcastle United

Newcastle have lost just one of their last five league games but have also won only once. They have lost 13 league games this season; only Swansea, with 14, have lost more. Their record after 25 matches is exactly the same as in 2015-16 when they went on to be relegated. The Magpies have not scored a first-half goal in six games since the now departed Henri Saivet found the net at West Ham on 23 December.Rafa Benitez has lost only one of six previous games against sides managed by Roy Hodgson, winning on three occasions.SAM’s verdictMost probable score: 1-0Probability of draw: 26%Probability of home win: 50%Probability of away win: 24%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.



Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42849448

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