Ever since Newcastle gained promotion back into the Premier League, they have lost to a newly promoted side each year. Even in the year the club finished fifth, Norwich managed to nick three points off of them. This season has already seen Newcastle lose to a new side, as they quite literally gifted Hull City a 3-2 win at St. James' Park.
Newcastle has documented struggles against lower table sides (see also: Sunderland) which is among the most maddening things about this club. They have a chance today to push back against that narrative if they can manage a road win. Road wins have actually been coming Newcastle's way this season. They find themselves 7th on the away form table, picking up 12 points from 8 matches.
Crystal Palace, with a -13 goal differential, find themselves in 18th place, just a point behind West Ham to achieve safety. They're likely to view a home match, with a Newcastle side that's played down to their opponents, as a prime opportunity to make themselves more comfortable in the table. They certainly aren't leaking goals as of late. Tony Pulis has been in charge for four matches, and in that span, the Eagles have conceded just 4 times and have kept two clean sheets. Offensively, Newcastle will have to be on the lookout for Marouane Chamakh, as he has scored in his last three matches.
Of course, it is a homecoming for Alan Pardew. When Palace had their early season struggles, and the Pardew Out crowd seemed as if they might get their wish, a lot of people thought Pardew may end up at Selhurst Park. Pardew made 128 appearances for Crystal Palace as a player. It will be interesting to see how he is received today.
Take your pick in the Predictor's League. Ever the optimist, I picked a Newcastle win. Jim picked a draw and Robert feels a gut-punch loss is in the cards for Newcastle today. We'll take your picks in the comments below, right up until five minutes before game time.
Position: 18th (13 points)
Line-up: Speroni, Mariappa, Gabbidon, Delaney, Moxey, Ward, Jedinak, Puncheon, Bannan, Chamakh, Jerome.
Subs: Price, Parr, Campana, Bolasie, Williams, Phillips, Gayle.
Position: 6th (27 points)
Line-up: Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini (c), Williamson, Santon; Anita, Cabaye, Tiote; Sissoko, Remy, Gouffran
Subs: Elliot, Haidara, Yanga-Mbiwa, Obertan, Ben Arfa, Shola Ameobi, Cisse
Howay the lads!