Palace seek to end slump when Geordies make quick return to London



Backdrop: 13th hosts 14th at Selhurst Park as Newcastle make their second trip to the capital in six days. The Geordies collapsed in the second half at Arsenal, conceding four second half goals to renew their flirtation with the relegation zone.

That is familiar territory for Palace who find themselves six points above the drop zone and one behind their opponents, but some weeks ago  they looked safe and now find themselves heading downwards after a poor run.

Form: Palace have not won a match since Boxing Day. Four league draws began this dismal run and they have lost the last three league games, to Southampton, Sheffield United and Everton, with the greatest respect not the top tier of opponents. The highlight was a draw at Manchester City but the other results, including a home cup defeat to Championship Derby, have been dismal.

Newcastle had been hard to beat until their Emirates debacle though Steve Bruce thought they played ‘their best football of the season’ in the first half at Arsenal. Draws at Everton and Wolves and a win over Chelsea were decent results and they won’t be short of confidence despite being behind their hosts in the current table.

History: Newcastle won the Tyneside fixture 1-0 with Miguel Almiron scoring the only goal. That loss came just five days before Palace’s last win. Newcastle lead the historical series 27-10 with nine draws.

The last two league games at Selhurst have been drawn, a 1-1 draw in February 2018 and a 0-0 draw seven months later. Newcastle last won a league game here in 2013, with Yohan Cabaye, a Danny Gabbidon own goal and Hatem Ben Arfa scoring in a 3-0 win.

Key Match up: Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin is the most naturally gifted player outside the big six. Arguably his closest rival is Palace’s Wilfried Zaha. Whose brilliance will create the goals that secure the points?

Team News: James Tomkins, Cenk Tosun, Mamadou Sakho and Jeffrey Schlupp are still unavailable to Roy Hodgson, while Martin Kelly is a doubt.

While Andy Carroll, DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark and Jetro Willems are still unavailable, Bruce may have  Jonjo Shelvey, Dwight Gayle and Yoshinori Muto who were missing at Arsenal back to play some part.

Referee: Peter Bankes. Assistants: Ian Hussin, Harry Lennard. Fourth official: Stuart Attwell. VAR: Andy Madley. Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes.

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