A pivotal game potentially for both Newcastle United and Crystal Palace on Sunday.
At the moment Palace lie 13th and Newcastle 14th, separated by two points, on 26 and 24 respectively.
Newcastle and the five clubs below them are only kept apart by one point or goal difference, with West Brom slightly adrift on only 20.
With things so tight, Palace could create some breath space whilst arguably Newcastle had to pick up at least four points from their two games against Burnley and Palace. With only a draw on Wednesday the pressure is really on Rafa’s players.
However, both clubs have a difficult run of games after Sunday.
Newcastle have Man Utd at home, followed by Bournemouth and Liverpool away.
Whilst Palace have Everton away and then Spurs and Man Utd at home.
Rafa Benitez may not have the best squad around but he has been careful in trying to avoid injuries as much as possible, not taking risks and rotating players when necessary. It is vital keeping the likes of Jamaal Lascelles fit in this relegation run-in, with hopefully Islam Slimani able to soon shake off his thigh injury as well.
For Roy Hodgson though, he has at least half a dozen players who are set to miss the game.
Jeffrey Schlupp, Scott Dann, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jason Puncheon and Conor Wickham were all carrying injuries and then the last thing the Palace boss needed was Bakary Sako adding to his problems.
Sako has scored three goals in the last six weeks, all of them helping Palace to win each time, nine points that have massively assisted them in pulling out of the drop zone.
However, Sako left the away match at West Ham wearing a protective boot and won’t face Newcastle.
Amongst those who will be likely to play though are three former Newcastle players, with Yohan Cabaye, Andros Townsend and Patrick van Aanholt set to start.
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