Crystal Palace will be looking to continue their strong form on Wednesday as Alan Pardew takes on former club Newcastle United for the first time since leaving for South London at the beginning of the year.
It was a workmanlike display from the Eagles in their last match as they edged to an important victory over bottom club Leicester City to pull further clear of the drop zone. The gap stands at four points after Tuesday’s results, so there is still work to be done to ensure a comfortable rest of the season, however.
It has taken Pardew no time at all to unleash the squad’s full potential, and they will only be stronger with the returns of Mile Jedinak and Yannick Bolasie from international duty, with the captain having experienced success in the Asia Cup with hosts Australia.
There was frustration late on for Newcastle on Sunday as they relinquished the lead at home to Stoke City after missing chances to win the game, but in truth victory would have been fortunate on the balance of play, and it was a game which suggested that their counter-attacking style is better suited away from home.
So as John Carver prepares to face his former boss, he will look to the raw pace of Sammy Ameobi and the quality of Moussa Sissoko to drive them forward at Selhurst Park, and with plenty of attacking players set to take to the field, a repeat of August’s 3-3 classic could be on the cards.
Jedinak is not quite ready to return yet for Palace due to a minor ankle problem, but Marouane Chamakh should return after recently suffering from a broken nose.
Newcastle are without Cheick Tiote and Rolando Aarons, while Siem De Jong has been hit by a new setback in his recovering from injury, sustaining a collapsed lung.
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