clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace - Preview: Healing Eagles

Time to bounce back from a morale-murdering defeat to Liverpool last Wednesday

Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images

It is hard to call this match an anniversary game in full, but it will definitely bring such vibes to some when the ball gets rolling inside St James Part come kick-off time.

Not exactly a year to this day, but close enough (Oct. 23, 2021), Newcastle played its first game under a new coach not named Steve Bruce effectively ending all ties with the past regime pre-Saudi takeover. It was Eddie Howe—nor Unai Emery, for that matter—sitting on the Magpies bench that Saturday at Selhurst Park in London but rather caretaker coach Graeme Jones. No matter what, it was the first game of the new era of Newcastle football and both the Magpies and the Eagles are facing each other for the first time this season on another early Premier League Matchweek.

Both Crystal Palace—the visitors this time—and Newcastle will try to improve on that day’s result (a middle 1-1 draw with Christian Benteke and Callum Wilson scoring those goals) and also boost their position up the table with the two sides currently sitting in the bottom half of the Premier League ranks five games into the season.

It can’t be said that a lot of things have changed for Newcastle since that game as the Saudi Seeds had already been planted (with everybody adequately put on notice about the takeover) but the truth is that those days feel ages ago given the massive overhaul of everything-Magpies taking place in the past 11 months.

Not that many things have changed around Palace, though, although it’s funny to find Benteke as the only player departing the club on a substantial fee this summer. Not so funny: Crystal Palace also lost points in their last Premier League game conceding a late goal (88th minute) so they’ll also be hurting to make up for that upset against Brentford with a positive result this Saturday.

What’s poppin’

Everybody is very aware of one thing: Newcastle only lost for the first time last Wednesday—against Liverpool of all teams!—and had already seen Manchester City off a couple of weeks ago when they snatched a positive result (a draw!) from Pep’s men.

Something not everybody seems to be aware of: Newcastle has only won one game in the five they’ve played to date. Of course, there are always two angles from which to look at the ongoing trend, but at the end of the day, it’s been just a mediocre six-point tally out of a potential 15-point haul in the past month. Not quite fantastic, if you ask me.

Another thing that could have flown under the radar for most casual facts is the fact that these two squads will face each other once more in two months as part of the EFC Cup when they meet next November 7th.

My mom always told me not to rejoice in the misfortune of others. But it’s the only thing I can do when looking at Crystal Palace’s recent run of results while finding out they’re one position and one point below Newcastle in the Premier League table.

Contrary to what the Magpies did to kick the season off (from winning to drawing to losing), Crystal Palace improved on a weekly basis for three consecutive games, doubled down with a second victory in a row thanks to the EFL Cup win, then went back to reality getting just one point in the following two games.

I guess Palace can keep calm and breathe a bit easier this weekend knowing Wilfried Zaha is still their main man forward, same as Geordies will find it soothing to find Alexander Isak’s name in the called-up squad ahead of Saturday’s game.

Checkin on the Eagles' most updated news and reports, Crystal Palace have four players out of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle: Jack Butland, James Tomkins, Nathan Ferguson, and James McArthur. Zaha returned to the squad last Wednesday and bagged Palace’s lone goal back then.

The recent history between these two is rather balanced with more than a few meetings putting the Magpies and the Eagles in front of each other in the past few seasons.

Newcastle got the better of Palace the last time they played a competitive game last April with a narrow 1-0 victory. It was a draw before that in the first Saudi-backed match, a victory for Crystal Palace before that one, one for Newcastle before that that one, on and on it goes...

If one thing defines the games between the Londoners and those from Tyneside, though, is the lack of bulky scorelines. Only once in the past 11 meetings have both teams combined to score more than two goals (it happened in Feb. 2021) and you have to go all the way back to Nov. 2015 to five more than three goals scored by both teams combined (Palace defeated Newcastle 5-1 in Nov. 2015).

That moderately recent defeat by 1-2 to Crystal Palace just over half a year ago feels like it took place a decade back: Jonjo Shelvey scored for Newcastle while Jairo Riedewald and Gary Cahill were the Eagles’ goalscorers. Sheesh.

Patrick Vieira did a magnificent job last year finishing 12th with his team, just one point behind Newcastle (11th) and closing the season on a three-game unbeaten streak and with an overall positive (+4) goal difference over the full 38 games played.

Wilfried Zaha, of course, remains the main player and clear-cut star of the Eagles this year as it’s been the case for a long time now. Zaha is the lone goal threat of the team, though, which might turn into a little bit of a worrying feature of Crystal Palace as we get deep into the campaign if no other player finds a steady way to contribute on that front.

The sudden improvement of Eberechi Eze, though, has been rather pleasing for Eagles fans to watch in the early season after he didn’t perform up to the expectations following his arrival in time for the 2020/2021 season. Eze has already reached in five games the xG+xA (1.4) that he posted over 13 matches last year. Eze along with Zaha, and Joachim Andersen in the middle of the defense, have been the three best Eagles so far this season.

While not an easy game by any means—perhaps more because of all of the injuries and not-fully-fit players in the Magpies squad than the opposition threat—Crystal Palace is a tough rival on par with Newcastle as both last and this season’s results prove.

Howe vs. Vieira definitely makes for a very appealing game to enjoy so even with multiple players missing on both sides this is probably going to turn into a must-watch spectacle. One not for the managers, but surely one for us enjoying at home drinking some dark coffee and for those watching live on location.

When and Where’s flowin’

  • Date: Saturday, September 3rd
  • Kick-off: 15:00 BST / 10:00 EST / 8:00 PST
  • Location: St James Park, Newcastle (England)
  • TV: Talksport 2 Radio UK (UK), Peacock (USA), fuboTV (Canada)

For all your international watching needs, check

How’s it goin’

Coming Home, Crystal Ball: Newcastle 1-0 Crystal Palace

We’re glad you’re siding with Coming Home Newcastle before the game’s kickoff! Before that and if you want to join the discussion with fellow community members, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens. Drop your comments in the section below, engage with the community over Twitter, and enjoy the game come playtime!

Howay the Lads!