Crystal Palace make the long trip to the north east for the second time in eight days when they take on Newcastle United on Saturday.
Tony Pulis’ men returned from Sunderland with a goalless draw last weekend and will be looking to pick up more vital Premier League points at St James’ Park.
The Eagles were beaten 3-0 by Alan Pardew’s side when they met at Selhurst Park in December, but will be buoyed by the fact they have taken four points from their last two Premier League trips to Tyneside.
Newcastle come into the game slightly out of sorts, with last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Fulham being their seventh defeat in their last 11 Premier League outings.
Palace will take even more encouragement from the fact that the Magpies have failed to register a goal in eight of those fixtures, dating back to the 1-0 home defeat to Arsenal on 29th December 2013.
The Toon Army will be without the presence of their manager and former Palace midfielder Pardew, who is serving the second match in a three-game stadium ban following his headbutt on Hull City’s David Meyler.
Newcastle United: Newcastle currently sit top of the Premier League injury table, with eight first team players either ruled out or doubtful for this weekend’s game.
Top-scorer Loic Remy will definitely miss out with a calf strain, while fellow French attacker Gabriel Obertan is recovering from a knee injury.
Full backs Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon are both sidelined with groin and knee injuries respectively, while another defender, Ryan Taylor, continues his comeback from an anterior cruciate ligament injury and back-up goalkeeper Rob Elliott also has a knee problem.
Hatem Ben Arfa is set to provide Newcastle with a timely boost after Alan Pardew revealed that the French playmaker is set to make his comeback on Saturday.
Midfielder Gael Bigirimana could also return to the squad though having not played a first team game since the Capital One Cup victory over Morecambe in August last year.
Crystal Palace: Similarly to Newcastle, Palace will be without their top scorer through injury this weekend with Marouane Chamakh ruled out with a hamstring problem.
Barry Bannan could return to the squad after sitting out the Sunderland draw through illness, while Danny Gabbidon is also pushing for a return to Tony Pulis’ 18.
Dwight Gayle will be assessed ahead of the game having rolled his ankle in training on Tuesday.
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: S Ledger, M Perry
Fourth Official: A Taylor
|Newcastle wins||Draws||Palace wins|
LAST MEETING AT ST JAMES’ PARK
In a stark contrast to the situation they find themselves in today, Palace were a club in crisis the last time they visited St James’ Park.
A day after plummeting into administration, the Eagles visited Championship table-toppers Newcastle and named only three substitutes on the bench.
It soon got worse for Palace, as Shaun Derry inadvertently diverted Andy Carroll’s header past Julian Speroni to give the Magpies a 20th minute lead.
The visitors battled well though and had plenty of chances to upset the promotion favourites, with Danny Butterfield, Darren Ambrose and Neil Danns all went close to breaching the Toon back line.
But Newcastle finally sealed the victory in the fourth minute of stoppage time, as Nile Ranger rounded off a quick counter attack to put the result beyond doubt.
Tickets for this game WILL NOT be available to purchase on the day.
Crystal Palace Football Club would advise supporters not to make the journey to Newcastle if they are not in possession of a valid match ticket.
The head of safety and security as Newcastle United Football Club has kindly requested that the following message be relaid to supporters:
'Newcastle United FC is looking forward to welcoming Crystal Palace fans to St James’ Park on Saturday. However, it is appealing to fans not to bring any smoke canisters or flares to the match. It is advising fans that a rigorous search operation will be in place outside the turnstiles, utilising pyrotechnic search dogs.
There will be a pyrotechnic amnesty bin in the area near to the away turnstiles and all fans will be subjected to full pat down body searches and bag rummages.
Any fan found trying to take smoke canisters or flares into the stadium, or discharging any once inside, will be arrested by police and prosecuted.'
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