We are proud to bring you the Newcastle v Crystal Palace Treatment Room, the latest in our regular feature where before each match, industry specialist Ben Dinnery brings you all the latest injury news ahead of the game.
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If Newcastle harbour any hope of securing a place in Europe next season then a win against a struggling Crystal Palace side on Saturday is a must.
The Eagles have not won away from Selhurst Park since the beginning of the year, losing three of their last five with Tony Pulis’ men hovering precariously close to the relegation-zone.
Even without the well-documented absence of striker Loic Remy (calf) and our lack of an alternative goal-scoring outlet, Newcastle must surely have enough to beat a team that have only managed 8 points on the road this season, and a total of 6 goals despite our indifferent h2h record.
Last weekend provided the ideal opportunity for Papiss Cisse to stake a claim for the season run-in but once again the Senegalese striker looked a mere shadow of his former self as he continued his struggle in front of goal.
Alan Pardew must decide whether to keep faith in the striker whose one and only goal this season came back in December (yet to score from open play), or decide to call upon the services of Hatem Ben Arfa (groin) or the returning Sammy Ameobi (knee).
Davide Santon missed training this week due to a bout of tonsillitis and remains sidelined along with French full-back Mathieu Debuchy (groin). Gael Bigirimana travelled with the U21s to face Liverpool as he continues his recovery from an ankle ligament injury while Jak Alnwick was also included in Peter Beardsley’s squad, suggesting goalkeeper Rob Elliot (knee) is ready for a return.
Crystal Palace on the other hand have their own striking problems to contend with as former Gunner and leading-scorer Marouane Chamakh (hamstring) was ruled out midweek. The Moroccan is joined by summer signing Dwight Gayle who bruised ankle ligaments in training on Tuesday leaving Glenn Murray to lead the attack; the forward only returned in February after almost nine months out with an ACL injury.
Midfielder Barry Bannan missed last week’s bore-draw at the SOL through illness and is expected to return with Welsh defender Daniel Gabbidon facing a late test after a knock in training.
All the statistics point to a pretty dour affair at SJP tomorrow, but with the mood on Tyneside decidedly sombre, the club, team and supporters could do with a much-needed three point lift …..
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