Newcastle United vs Crystal Palace preview, betting tips and predictions: Joselu to edge tight clash for Magpies

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Newcastle to win 1-0 @ 13/2 with Bet365

Newcastle to win and Joselu to score first @ 5/1 with Bet365

The Draw @ 5/2 with Bet365

Of all the matches to finally get three points for the first time this season in, Crystal Palace picked a good one in Chelsea. After seven games without so much as a goal and star striker Christian Benteke missing the next few months with a knee injury, Palace fans may have been forgiven for planning for life back in the Championship even at this early stage.

But their expectations have been raised once again by the victory over the Blues last weekend. Wilfred Zaha’s return from injury played a big part, and their confidence means they now feel they can head to Newcastle and win if they didn’t already. But Rafa Benitez’s Magpies are in good form themselves, having battled to a good draw at Southampton last week; it could have been more with the Saints twice fighting back from behind to snatch a point. They sit ninth and are favourites for this game because of the defensive organisation Benitez has instilled.

It is tough to call for sure how this game will go because Newcastle may have to force the issue a little more than they have in recent weeks. Their plan is to remain compact and hit teams on the counter attack, using Joselu as an outlet. Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu make the pitch wide by using their pace, but Palace will look to do the same with Zaha and Andros Townsend, making his first return to St James’ Park since leaving after relegation. The game could come down to who has the better control of the ball in the middle of the park and Jonjo Shelvey, Mikel Merino and Isaac Hayden are all in form, capable of providing the base off which Newcastle could win the game.

That is why we make them favourites, but this is not set to be a classic and there will not be many goals. Joselu has scored twice for Newcastle since his summer move from Stoke but has also missed a huge number of chances. He got lucky with his strike against Liverpool, but he could have more chances on Saturday and needs to take at least one, a 1-0 is well priced at 13/2 as is a home win with him scoring first at 5/1.

Key battle: Jonjo Shelvey vs Yohan Cabaye

This will be one of the most intriguing battles of the season for Shelvey because it is against the man he replaced at St James’ Park. Cabaye’s game has changed since he left Newcastle, he plays much deeper now, but that means it will be him vs Shelvey to see who can dictate the play better.

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It would seem that Newcastle will be playing higher up the pitch and actively putting the pressure on Palace, but that will come more from Merino or Hayden than Shelvey, who will look to thread the ball through to set up different attacking situations.

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