Newcastle United (9-8-15) vs. Crystal Palace (10-6-16)
Premier League: 06-04-2019 at 15:00 UST (St James’ Park)
Odds: Newcastle United: 2.60, Draw: 3.20, Crystal Palace: 3.00
Free Premier League Picks Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace
Newcastle United welcome Crystal Palace at St. James’ Park on Saturday afternoon in a mid-table match. Both the Magpies and the Eagles come from 2-0 losses to North London clubs. For instance, Newcastle lost to Arsenal last Monday in a match summarising their season’s struggles. Indeed, they shot only three times in the game, with only one on target. Additionally, they recorded only 30% of possession and spent most of the game in their own half. As a matter of fact, the Magpies have been over-performing this season. According to Understat, they have 4.10 points more than expected (xPTS). As a result, Newcastle rank 14th in the Premier league rather than their expected 17th. This is probably a result of Newcastle’s resilient defence best exemplified by their January upset against Manchester City, 2-1. If Newcastle have been over-performing, it could be argued that Crystal Palace have been unlucky this season.
Indeed, Crystal Palace have eight points less than what could be expected given their season. The Eagles therefore stand one place in front of Newcastle in the table. Nevertheless, both teams are in good situations to stay in the Premier League this season. Indeed, they respectively have a seven and eight points cushion over relegation. Palace hold their rank offensively as they have the thirteenth attack in terms of goals scored. Indeed, they have Zaha and Batshuayi, to animate their offence but lack other options. Defensively, they post the ninth league record with 43 goals conceded in 32 games. They have been defending in their standards in their last six Prem’ games. Indeed, they have conceded 1.33 goals per game in that time-span. Nevertheless, their confidence might be low after theor 2-0 loss to Tottenham Wednesday. However, they could expect a relatively calmer afternoon on Saturday against Newcastle.
Rafa Benitez should compose his team in the 5-4-1 he has used in Newcastle’s last two outings. The Spanish tactician will probably not be able to count on Hayden, Diamé or Yedlin, all injured. However, Schär should come back to the squad after serving his two-game ban. The absences of Hayden and Diamé could profit to Shelvey who was removed from the group in the last few weeks. Newcastle should have Dubravka in goals with Schär, Lascelles and Lejeune as the three centre-backs in front of him. Manquillo should take American right wing-back Yedlin‘s place as Matt Ritchie fills in on the left. Ki and Shelvey should occupy the middle of the park with Perez and Almiron on their sides. Finally, Rondon will be the Magpies’ target man and will hope to add to his 9 goal tally.
Opposing them, ex-England manager Roy Hogdson should opt for a 4-3-3 system. Guaita should start in goal while Kelly and Tomkins line-up in centre-back in the absence of Mamadou Sakho. PFA Player of the Month nominee, Wan-Bissaka will undoubtedly start as right-back with Van Aanholt on the left. The midfield three will probably be composed of Milivojevic, McArthur and Kouyaté. Zaha and Townsend will be Hodgson’s preferred options on the left. Indeed, both players can bring pace and vista on the wings and should trouble Newcastle’s defence. Finally, Batshuayi, who has scored two goals in his eight Palace games will probably headline the offensive line.
Free Premier League Schedule Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United
Newcastle and Crystal Palace’s confrontation is a relatively even match-up. Palace’s offensive players’ chemistry and technique could trouble Newcastle in counter-attacks. However, the Magpies generally let their opponents carry the ball. The match could go either way, with an advantage to Crystal Palace if the game opens up. I see the Eagles earn an away win, with both teams scoring: 2-1.
PICK: Newcastle United 1-2 Crystal Palace