Newcastle United have claimed five points from their last three matches and are now within one point of safety as they come up against Crystal Palace, who may have one eye on their upcoming FA Cup final when they travel to the North East this weekend.
The facts and figures
Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse has certain teams that he loves scoring against and Crystal Palace is one of them. The Senegalese forward has netted in all three of his appearances against the Eagles.
Newcastle have drastically improved their form since the arrival of Rafa Benitez. The Magpies are unbeaten in three games but the last manager to lead them to four games without a defeat was Alan Pardew, all the way back in November 2014.
Speaking of Pardew, his side haven't been on the best of runs recently. Palace have won six games in 2016, but five of them have been in the FA Cup. Because of this, they have the joint-worst league form of the calendar year.
The last time the South London side won away from home was back in December.
No doubt the headlines this weekend will be focused on the return of Pardew. His tenure at Newcastle made the headlines for many reasons and now he has left, the fans have made their feelings about him known.
A section of Newcastle's fan base will respectfully welcome Pardew back, but it looks like the majority are set to give him a return to forget.
Pardew seemed cagey in his pre-match conference earlier this week. He usually skirts around any Newcastle questions that come his way, so that may be the reason. He did admit this week that he was 'desperate' for his former side to stay in the division.
Due to the upturn in performances, it is unlikely that Benitez will alter his side too much. The likes of Moussa Sissoko and Vurnon Anita have relished their new positions and responsibilty since the changing of managers.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is knocking on the door when it comes to a return to the first team. The fans spent most of last week calling for him to be brought off the bench but Cisse's goal may mean he keeps his role leading the line.