Predicted Newcastle Line Up v Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United
Saturday 21 December 3pm
I’m sick of predicting Hatem Ben Arfa is going to start so I’m leaving him out of my predicted Newcastle line up v Crystal Palace. Obviously in the hope that Alan Pardew will see the sense in a line up/formation more like to score goals.
One certainty is that Yohan Cabaye will be straight back in after his one match suspension, the midfield full of hard work against Southampton but short of ideas.
Vurnon Anita appears sure to make way unless Alan Pardew reverts back to five in midfield as he did against Manchester United, though I guess the smart money is on Shola continuing.
Palace were spirited at the weekend and only went down 2-1 at Chelsea but before that the Pulis influence has been remarkable. To get out of trouble they desperately need to beat the teams likely to be around them and in recent weeks Palace have beaten Hull, Cardiff and West Ham. In addition, before visiting Stanford Bridge Pulis’ team had only conceded one goal in five Premier League matches.
Pulis has already said he hopes to bring in some of own players in January but he can’t complain at the reaction he has got from the largely average/disappointing elsewhere collection of players he inherited.
The ex-Stoke boss has even got Chamakh looking interested and scoring goals, the ex-Arsenal forward having scored in each of his last three matches.
While results have picked up in recent weeks, with only 11 goals in 16 league matches it isn’t hard to see Palace’s biggest weakness. If Newcastle score a couple of goals you’d have to be disappointed if we didn’t win considering their lack of real threat on goal.
My instinct is for Ben Arfa to get a place but you can imagine Alan Pardew going for the more solid (in theory) formation including Shola or even that extra midfielder in the form of Anita. Why not though go out and try to stretch and outplay them?
There are also odds for the ‘Most Highly Rated’ player (Man Of The Match) and Debuchy 16/1 looks great value after showing up as Newcastle’s best player of the last 6 or 7 weeks.
If Newcastle can hold their form at the back then I can see a narrow win to send us into Christmas in good spirits but against a Tony Pulis side we are going to have win the battle first.
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