Newcastle United - Crystal Palace Preview: Tyneside welcome back Pardew in crunch clash

Newcastle United host Crystal Palace on Saturday, welcoming back ex-manager Alan Pardew to St James' park.

Newcastle United - Crystal Palace Preview: Tyneside welcome back Pardew in crunch clash
Image credit: VAVEL

After two positive results against Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool, Newcastle will be looking to replicate those performances. 

Rafa Benitez has made it no secret that he is pleased the way his team is progressing, but he faces his biggest task yet at home on Saturday. 

A win against Crystal Palace, and Newcastle's ex-boss Alan Pardew, could well take them out of the relegation zone.

Background

Both sides will be on different highs when they meet on Saturday, one coming of the back of two positive results and the other winning an FA Cup semi-final.

It's a must win game for Newcastle in the grand scheme of things, but Pardew will be hoping he can stop his former club from doing so. 

Both teams are in slightly different form in the league, with Newcastle picking up five points from their last three and Palace picking up two. 

Newcastle haven't beaten Crystal Palace in their last three league meetings - which doesn't make good reading for this game. 

With the home crowd on side though form with undoubtedly go out of the window in this match.

Will Lascelles be celebrating again come Saturday evening? | Image source: Premier League
Will Lascelles be celebrating again come Saturday evening? | Image source: Premier League

Team News

Fabricio Coloccini and Daryl Janmaat will both be missing from Saturday's home game, they have calf and groin injuries respectively. They are both due to resume training next week. Defender Kevin Mbabu is fit after recovering from a thigh injury, but goalkeepers Tim Krul and Rob Elliot won't feature for the rest of the season.

Palace are currently monitoring Wilfried Zaha's fitness with the hope he recovers from a leg injury in time. Pardew has been quoted saying he is "50-50" as to whether he will travel. The only other real concerns for the Eagles are Marouane Chamakh and centre-half Brede Hangeland.

Players to Watch

Papiss Cisse - It's been notable of late that Benitez has took a liking to Cisse, with him becoming a regular starter recently. Even though it hasn't been a popular decision with fans, the Senegalese striker did score last weekend against Liverpool. This sustained run in the first team may well pay off, and he could shine this weekend.

Mile Jedinak - It's a huge weekend for Palace, because everybody isn't giving them a chance. They've just progressed to the FA Cup final, and people would say they'll be hungover. As captain though Jedinak will be the man to keep his players heads on the job. They still have points to play for in the Premier League, so while the cup final isn't for a while, they need to need to focus on the upcoming games.