Newcastle v Crystal Palace Previews, Betting Tips and Predictions
April 04, 2019
St James' Park - Premier League
Newcastle host Crystal Palace at St James' Park on Sunday, with just one point separating the two sides in the Premier League table. Both teams look to have avoided relegation despite poor starts to the season, but an extra three points would give some breathing room.
Palace and Newcastle have drawn their last two encounters, with the reverse fixture this season playing out to a goalless draw.
Rafa Benitez has a number of absentees after Isaac Hayden was forced off during Newcastle's Monday defeat to Arsenal. Rob Elliot and Sean Longstaff are both longer term injuries, although Fabian Schar should be in-line to start having served his red-card suspension.
Roy Hodgson nearly has a full contingent to select from with Mamadou Sakho the only injury. The manager may be tempted to make a few changes from the side that lost to Tottenham, with a more attacking performance required.
NEwcastle v Crystal Palace Previews and Predictions
Sunday's game pits two of the early season relegation candidates against one another. However, new-year resurgences should have ensured that both Newcastle and Crystal Palace should survive another season.
For the Magpies this is yet again to the credit of Rafa Benitez, who they may struggle to keep hold of come the summer. The manager was a vocal critic of the club's poor recruitment policy, which he credited their poor performance in the first half of the season.
Despite little backing in the winter, the former Liverpool boss promoted from within, bringing U-23 Sean Longstaff, and the long-forgotten Mohammed Diame back into the starting XI. The two players have transformed the midfield, giving Newcastle a combative edge, whilst Salomon Rondon, who is 11/5 to score this weekend, has rediscovered his form and given the side more of a goal threat.
For Roy Hodgson, the team's problem was relatively obvious, the lack of a top-level striker. The return to fitness of Christian Benteke, and the arrival of Michy Batshuayi has had the desired effect as, despite neither being particularly prolific, it has allowed the likes of Wilfred Zaha to play in their preferred positions. On Sunday, the manager will likely start the on-loan Chelsea man, flanked by Andros Townsend and Zaha, using the trios guile to unlock the stubborn Newcastle defence.
Both teams lost to North London's top-six representatives in Arsenal and Tottenham, and will enjoy having possession this weekend. With the sides relatively evenly matched, it remains to be seen which takes the initiative.
Wilfred Zaha to score anytime at 3/1
The Ivorian has lost his status as club top scorer to Luka Milevojevic, yet is Palace's star man and offers a real threat on the counter.
Under 1.5 goals at 52/25
Matches between these sides have averaged a goal per game since a 5-1 Palace win in 2015.