The first game on Sunday sees Crystal Palace host Newcastle United at Selhurst Park in a game where both sides will be looking to pick up a crucial three points in the fight for survival. Despite their improvement in form over the past few months, Crystal Palace still sit just three points outside the relegation places, with Newcastle a further two points back in 14th place. With the fight for survival so tight this season, every point will be key and these games against the sides around you in the league are massive.
When: 2:15PM, Sunday, February 4th, 2018
Where: Selhurst Park, London, England
Crystal Palace picked up a 1-1 draw away at West Ham United in their last game with Christian Benteke opening the scoring before a Mark Noble penalty levelled things up for The Hammers. Christian Benteke has scored just two league goals this season, but after finding the net in his last game, the Belgian will be hoping to go on a scoring run. Palace have a number of injuries coming into this game with Scott Dann, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jason Puncheon, Jeffrey Schlupp and Conor Wickham all missing.
Newcastle United also drew their midweek game 1-1, with Rafael Benitez’s side throwing away their lead in the 85th minute against Burnley. Struggling striker, Joselu also missed a penalty for Newcastle in the game, but the debut performance of Kenedy will have pleased Benitez. Newcastle have an almost fully fit squad to choose from with just Jesus Gamez and new signing, Islam Slimani missing through injury.
- Newcastle United have a good record at Selhurst Park, winning four of the last six matches here.
- Eight of Palace’s 12 home games have ended over 2.5 goals this season.
- Newcastle United have kept just two clean sheets on the road this season.
This is a huge game for both sides and has the makings of a real relegation six pointer. Newcastle won when these sides met earlier in the season, but The Magpies have really struggled of late and for that reason I’m backing Crystal Palace to win here. When Islam Slimani is fit, Newcastle will have a good centre forward, but for now, with Joselu, they just don’t pose enough problems in attack.
Betting Tips (Coral)
Crystal Palace start this game as favourites at odds of EVENS, whilst an away win for Newcastle United is priced up at 3/1, with the draw available at 23/10. I think it’ll be a really tight game, but I’m expecting Palace to come out on top, so those odds of EVENS look pretty decent to me. BTTS (NO) at 20/23 also looks a solid bet to me, especially when you consider Newcastle’s struggles on the road this season and how blunt they have looked in attack.
Crystal Palace to win – EVENS (Coral)