Alan Pardew was not a happy man, after a potentially disastrous (for Newcastle) and predictable result for Crystal Palace, saw them lose 1-0 to Sunderland on Monday night.

As the wheels fall off for Palace under Pardew, with only 4 points from the last 18 and reality setting in, the former Newcastle boss has been hit by another blow thanks to last night’s match.

Alan Pardew introduced Bakary Sako at half-time on Monday night and the Palace manager felt he provided the goal threat that had been missing.

However, the attacking midfielder only lasted 23 minutes himself before he was substituted after picking up an injury, Alan Pardew revealing afterwards that the player looks sure to miss the Newcastle game as he appears to have pulled his hamstring.

Sako scored in the wins over Chelsea and Aston Villa this season.

Alan Pardew:

“Unfortunately, he (Bakary Sako) pulled his hamstring, I think. He certainly couldn’t continue.

“That is something that is a little bit disappointing.

“He is a real goal threat for us, particularly when teams are deep.

“I thought he caused problems when he was on the pitch, so it’s a disappointment.”

Despite having nine more points than Newcastle, Palace have only scored one more goal than United’s 13.

In fact, former Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye is their top scorer (along with Dwight Gayle) with four goals.

Both teams will look at Saturday’s clash as a real opportunity, with Palace potentially going 12 points ahead of Newcastle, or United closing it to only six.

Palace could actually go as high as sixth (or as low as 12th) in the Premier League if they beat Newcastle and other results went for them, whilst for United it is a little more ominous.

In the last 12 months, Newcastle have only won two away matches and these were against Hull who went on to be relegated, plus the fluke result against Bournemouth after being played off the pitch.

If Newcastle were to lose against Alan Pardew and his Palace team, then they would automatically be back in the bottom three if Bournemouth got anything at home to Everton or Sunderland got a point against Stoke on home turf.

With Liverpool and Tottenham up next, Newcastle must get something at Selhurst Park to give everybody a lift.