Preview - Crystal Palace vs Newcastle Feb 4 2018

Started by Harry85, Feb 03, 2018, 07:00 PM

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Match Day 26
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United
Sunday, February 4th, 2018
10:15 pm (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace:
Last five matches form: D L W W D
Average goals per match: 0.9
Average goals against per match: 1.5
Top Scorer: Luka Milivojevic (5)

Newcastle United:
Last five matches form: D L D W D
Average goals per match: 0.9
Average goals against per match: 1.4
Top Scorer: Joselu (4)

Sitting in 13th and 14th place respectively - although that is likely to change after Saturdays fixtures - Crystal Palace and Newcastle will no doubt be happy to simply maintain their position between now and the end of the season. With a packed bottom half of the table though, that is no certainty, and both will be eager to gain a little breathing space by picking up a valuable win here.

Crystal Palace began the current season seemingly intent on breaking the Premier Leagues lowest ever points total, losing each of their first seven games. Such has been the turnaround under Roy Hodgson, they have only lost four times in 18 games since that woeful start. Unheralded striker Alexander Sorloth has been brought in to add to their goal threat, and Palace are a tough nut to crack at home, losing just one of their past nine league outings at Selhurst Park.

Despite a solid start to the season, it always looked likely that Newcastle's lack of investment would ultimately catch up with them, and so it has proved, with the Magpies being sucked into the relegation battle as expected. Defensively they have been sound overall, largely thanks to having master tactician Rafa Benitez at the helm, but it is in front of goal where their problems lie. As such the acquisition of Kenedy and Islam Slimani on loan until the end of the season looks sound business, with the duo capable of adding some much-needed pace and power to the side.

This looks set to be tight with both teams boasting remarkably similar records overall. Both Roy Hodgson and Rafa Benitez's primary objective seems to be in setting their sides up to be tough to beat. Whilst Palace seem to be the side in the ascendancy, Newcastle do have a fair record on the road, with three wins and two draws to their name. We are taking a score draw in this one.

Prediction: Crystal Palace 1-1 Newcastle United


Half time: 0 - 1
Full time:  1 - 1
Shots: 21 - 11
Shots on target: 6 - 8
Corner Kicks: 5 - 6
Possession: 54% - 46%

The sides had one booking apiece, with Timothy Fosu-Mensah having his name taken for the home side and Paul Dummett seeing yellow for Newcastle.
Crystal Palace probably deserved their point here, showing a good attitude once falling behind. Ahead on both the possession and total shots stats, it was nevertheless Newcastle who had the more shots on target in what was a disciplined away performance.
It was the away side who took the lead in the 22nd minute as Mohamed Diame popped up at the far post to poke the ball home following a corner. Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke both failed to convert gilt-edged opportunities in the first period, seeing the Magpies take their slender lead into the break.
Whilst Palace would have been unlucky to lose this match, the manner in which their equaliser came about in the 55th minute did seem a little fortuitous. There didn't seem much in Ciaran Clark and Christian Benteke's tangle in the box - it was certainly the type of challenge that often goes unpenalized - but the linesman on the far side clearly saw something he didn't like and awarded the spot kick. Luka Milivojevic stepped up to convert, despite the best efforts of Karl Darlow in the Newcastle goal.
Newcastle were under the greater pressure for the remainder of the game but ultimately held on for what could prove to be a valuable away point. It is still perilously tight down at the bottom though with Rafa Benitez's side sitting just one point above the drop zone.
Palace have a little more breathing space in 14th but are by no means out of the woods yet.

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