Last week was yet another successful EPL matchday for the team here at The Sports Geek. I was a perfect 2-0 with my two write-ups, and we’ll look to keep the momentum rolling as we kick off Matchday Six early on Saturday morning.
To begin with, we will focus on a rapidly improving Crystal Palace side, as they welcome a floundering Newcastle group to Selhurst Park. Both of these sides were expected to be relatively close in competition this season, though a tough run of things at Newcastle has Rafa Benitez’s side in a relegation battle already.
Newcastle enter this fixture still winless, and in fact have only mustered just one point from their first five contests. For Palace, a road win last week has vaulted them much higher in the table, and comfort has again set in for the South London club. It’s clear through five games that they are a much better side when Wilfried Zaha is in the lineup, and the bad news for the Magpies is that Zaha should be ready to go.
Read on below for a detailed breakdown of this Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle clash, filled with analysis and a betting prediction to get your weekend kicked off on the right foot.
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United Betting Odds:
Crystal Palace (+115)
Newcastle United (+275)
Over 2.5 (+110)
Under 2.5 (-130)
Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle United Pick:
Although both of Crystal Palace’s wins have come away from the friendly confines of Selhurst Park, the fact remains that the Eagles are a much better and energetic side when they play at home. They’ll be raring to go on Saturday and are surely eager to give their loyal home fans something to cheer about.
Manager Roy Hodgson is fortunate to deal with a fully fit side, as Pape Souare and Christian Benteke will re-enter the conversation to be in the lineup. Benteke has again been a bit of a disappointment for Palace so far this season – failing to capitalize on many of his chances. It wouldn’t be a stunner to see the big Norwegian Alexander Sorloth enter the fold and be paired up front with Zaha. It’s also believed that German midfield maestro Max Meyer should be able to finally get a starting gig. His creativity and flair through the midfield should be especially problematic for Newcastle in this match.
For Benitez, he is surely still steaming over not being able to bring in enough outside talent during the summer transfer window. He feels that his squad should be better, and the fact that it isn’t could likely prompt the well-travelled manager to pack up his bags and head to another club. They too enter this contest relatively unscathed in terms of injuries, but their 4-4-1-1 formation hasn’t led to many goals or chances. Against a porous Palace backline that could change.
Though the Magpies have faced a tough stretch of games to begin their season – they’ve looked especially hopeless in many of these contests. They look to be firmly mired in a relegation battle for the rest of the season, and if they can’t get any sort of result against Palace – it’s officially panic time.
Crystal Palace though does many things well and at home will be a tough beast to slay. Their attacking prowess with Wilf Zaha is extremely solid and should be able to easily penetrate a weakened Newcastle defensive corps. Palace has speed to burn and enter a confident group after last week’s victory. Expect Zaha and Ayew up front to really trouble Newcastle’s back-line, and ultimately secure victory for the home side. While many anticipate Newcastle simply playing for a draw in this fixture, Palace is too skilled to simply settle for that, and should be able to secure the full three points.
PICK = Crystal Palace (+115)