Newcastle v Crystal Palace – St James’ Park at 15:00
On Saturday, relegation fighters Newcastle host Crystal Palace in a Premier League clash whereby it is vital that The Magpies clinch all 3 points, in order to give themselves the best possible chance of remaining in the top-flight.
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Newcastle came back from 2 goals down to draw 2-2 at Liverpool in their last Premier League game, with goals by Papiss Cisse and Jack Colback earning The Geordies an important point. Benitez’s side are now 1 point off safety on 30 points, with Norwich and Sunderland sat just 1 point ahead on 31 points. However both The Black Cats and The Canaries have a game in hand, which is why it is all the more crucial to not slip up against a struggling Palace side.
Benitez is doing a good job at Newcastle and as a result his side go into this game as having been undefeated in their last 3 Premier League games, whereas Palace on the other hand are on a poor run of form in the top-flight.
Last weekend however, Crystal Palace beat Watford 2-1 at Wembley to secure themselves a spot in the FA Cup final where they will play Manchester United in a bid to lift the trophy. Yannick Bolasie put The Eagles ahead, although Troy Deeney cancelled out his goal just after half-time. Connor Wickham scored what turned out to be the winner for Palace in the 60th minute and Pardew’s side managed to hold out for the remainder of the game.
This was a much needed confidence boost for Palace who have been finding life difficult in the Premier League since the turn of the year. After such a great start to their Premier League campaign, whereby many thought they would be challenging for a European spot, it is incredible to look at how far they have fallen!
In their last Premier League game, Crystal Palace suffered a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United, whereby a Damien Delaney own goal and a goal from Matteo Darmian gave the Red Devils the victory. Palace have now failed to win their last 3 Premier League matches and with top-flight survival secure now and an FA Cup final to look ahead to, one must question the extent to which Palace will be up for this game.
In the reverse fixture back in November, Palace thrashed Newcastle 5-1 at Selhurst Park, with Bolasie and McArthur scoring a brace each, whilst Wilfred Zaha netted 1 as well. Cisse got the only goal for The Magpies, although on this occasion I can see them putting up a stronger fight as relegation beckons. I recommend backing Newcastle -0.5 on the Asian Handicap betting market as taking into account their home advantage as well as their need for points, I think they will be more hungry than Palace to get the win on Saturday.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Newcastle -0.5 @ 2.06 with Pinnacle Sports
Prices correct at time of writing.