Crystal Palace vs Newcastle: Predicted line-up
Clyne has cemented his place in the squad. Source: Getty Images

Both teams' record coming into the game show that three points are a must, with both the Crystal Palace and Newcastle losing their most recent matches.

With the Friday's game being the first of the gameweek, the sides will hope to gain an early advantage on the teams around them in the league table.

Newcastle are the team looking worse for wear on the injury front, with key players missing as they travel to the capital. Names such as Martin Dubravka (who put in a stunning display last time out at Selhurst Park), former Palace player, Dwight Gayle, and captain, Jamaal Lascelles – amongst others, are out through injury.

Palace, on the other hand, are looking positive as they head into their second game in five days.

Coincidently, Wilfried Zaha has tested positive for COVID-19 – which was announced by Roy Hodgson minutes before the previous game against Burnley.

This will severely affect Palace’s attack, due to Zaha having seven goal contributions, out of the 12 that his team has scored this season. With the talisman out, heads will be turned towards other members of the squad to provide an attacking threat.

This is VAVEL UK’s predicted starting XI:

Goalkeeper – Vicente Guaita

No change here. Solidarity and consistency from the Spaniard means that almost every fan expects to see him between the sticks on a matchday. Jack Butland signing means that he now has a small competitor, but until performances start declining, it is hard to see him being dropped.

Right Back – Nathaniel Clyne

One positive that came from the 1-0 loss to Burnley was an encouraging performance from Clyne. Zipping up and down the wing - providing energy in the attack, as well as darting back and defending well means that he will have earned another start in his second spell at the club.

Centre Back – Gary Cahill

After returning from an injury, Cahill saw himself on the bench, secondary to Scott Dann. However, due to a shaky showing at Burnley at the back, Dann could face his spot in the XI taken by Gary Cahill. He would be a welcome addition, providing experience and elegance in defence.

Centre Back – Cheikhou Kouyate

Although both centre backs had unimpressive performances on Monday night, Kouyate certainly looked the better of the two. A solid presence at the back whose work is keeping Mamadou Sakho out of the starting squad. A partnership between Kouyate and Cahill could prove effective in this game.

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Left Back – Patrick van Aanholt

Despite receiving some varied reviews of his performance earlier this week, van Aanholt will be hoping to have held his spot at left-back for another game. Whilst he provides attacking intent – fans are left wondering what he offers defensively, and often call for Tyrick Mitchell to return in order to find some balance.

Centre Midfielders – Jaïro Riedewald and James McArthur

Getting substituted last time out won’t have affected the Dutch midfielder’s confidence, as he has now cemented a starting spot in the Eagles’ team. Bringing a formidable partnership with James McArthur to the middle of the field, most battles are won by either of the two, and it is rare that mistakes are made by them.

Right Midfielder – Andros Townsend

Another player who didn’t have his best game against Burnley, Townsend will be hoping to bounce back, just like his club and put a performance in that is similar to the start of this season.

Left Midfielder – Eberechi Eze

Eze’s impressive outing against Burnley will mean that many will regard him as a certain starter for Friday. Showing bursts of pace and moments of flare that are synonymous with his name, fans will be hoping for more against the Toon.

Strikers – Christian Benteke and Michy Batshuayi

With both strikers looking for their first goals this season, what better game to start them in? Newcastle being without their rock, Lascelles, will plant a nervous thought into the Newcastle defence’s heads. Both will be hungry to prove themselves to Roy Hodgson and give him a problem choosing the striking options on the next matchday.

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Substitutes – Butland, Sakho, Dann, Mitchell, Schlupp, Ayew, McCarthy.

Formation: 4-2-2