Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace preview: Time for Magpies to start picking up points
Richard Humphrey via Geograph

Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace preview: Time for Magpies to start picking up points

Rafa Benitez will be hoping his side can pick up their first win of the season as they begin a run of more favourable fixtures as they only play one of last season's top six in the next 14 fixtures.

Aaron Hindhaugh

As Newcastle United make their first trip down to the capital this season, many fans feel this is an opportunity to get their season started.

Crystal Palace should definitely not be underestimated with Wilfred Zaha scoring in his last nine appearances for the Eagles and has called for more protection from referees during games.

Key players back for the Magpies

Rafa Benitez has confirmed that captain Jamaal Lascelles and influential midfielder Jonjo Shelvey are both back in contention to start against Palace as long-term injury Florian Lejeune the only absentee.

Newcastle's best performance this season was against Tottenham Hotspur at home when they had Lascelles, Shelvey, Kenedy and Matt Ritchie starting which could happen again on Saturday which has to be a positive for the Geordies.

The Magpies have to play to their strengths and that is set up to defend and try to snatch three points on the counter-attack or in the last 10 minutes, this will be made easier with the inclusions of Lascelles and Shelvey who can help control the team and tempo.

Palace to keep it simple

For Roy Hodgson, he has a full squad to choose from apart from main striker Christian Benteke who is still out injured and will miss this week.

This means summer signing Jordan Ayew is likely to start up-front for the Eagles, possible alongside Zaha or the Ivorian may want to take advantage of Newcastle's weaker right-hand side of the defence.

Ayew had a quiet game against Huddersfield Town, but he seems like the most likely to score from open play other than Zaha at the minute for Palace.

A big opportunity or a big challenge?

This match can be seen as a great chance for Benitez to get his players' confidence back and playing the way they were at the end of last season being clinical and efficient.

However, it could also be a challenging fixture for Benitez to try and stop arguably the best player outside of the top six sides in Zaha who is full confidence and scoring goals whenever he plays at the minute.

Newcastle and Palace will both be looking to pick up three points as both sets of fans will see this game as a good opportunity to gain some momentum

For Palace, it will be back-to-back wins for the first time this season which gives a team much needed for momentum, whereas Newcastle fans need something positive to shout about this season.

A close encounter

Last season these two sides faced each other twice with only three goals being scored over both games as Newcastle won 1-0 at St James' Park and the sides shared the points after a 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park.

Both games were incredibly close with ex-Newcastle player Mikel Merino scoring a rather fortunate last-minute winner and then the Eagles dominating at Selhurst Park and deserved all three points on the day but Newcastle put their bodies on the line and left the capital with a rare point.