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Palace have been a little better in attack this term, but that’s not a particularly amazing feat given they registered just 31 times last season, as only rock-bottom Norwich scored fewer goals.
There’s long been a reliance upon talisman Wilfried Zaha to create danger in the final third, and without him they toiled to a 1-0 defeat at Burnley on Monday night, with that the Clarets’ first win of the campaign.
Under 1.5 Goals
Newcastle were hardly prolific last term either with just three sides netting fewer goals, so Steve Bruce will be concerned that his team have failed to find the net in their last two outings as they went down 2-0 to both Southampton and Chelsea.
Of course, those two currently occupy positions in the top five in the table, but the Magpies have still only bagged more than a single strike in three of 15 matches since early July, as they went a disappointing W3-D4-L8 across this spell.
Worryingly for Palace, Zaha will almost certainly be absent once again here having tested positive for coronavirus, triggering a 10-day isolation period, though it’s unclear exactly what date he tested positive and so there may be the slimmest of chances still.
After a poor return last season of just four goals and five assists, despite playing the full 90 minutes in 36 of 38 matches, he’s responded well to a failed bid to leave the club and had already contributed five goals and two assists from seven appearances in the new campaign.
Newcastle To Beat Palace 1-0
That would suggest that Palace are as reliant as ever upon the tricky Ivorian for output. In fact, they’ve failed to score in 12 of the 17 matches he’s not started going back to the beginning of 2017, with the Eagles a desperately poor W2-D1-L14 as six of those ended in 1-0 defeats.
That correct score is certainly of major interest here. Five of the six head to heads over the past three campaigns have witnessed a maximum of just one goal, with a 1-1 draw in the first of those seasons the highest-scoring encounter over this period.
Although Zaha is clearly the missing player that matters most, both sides have a slew of selection concerns.
Palace were already without Nathan Ferguson, Wayne Hennessey and Connor Wickham, while James Tomkins and Luka Milivojevic remain doubts.
Meanwhile, Newcastle are without Jamaal Lascelles, Paul Dummett, Martin Dubravka and Dwight Gayle, though they could be boosted by potential returns for Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Matt Ritchie.
Having last played on Saturday, Newcastle benefit from two extra days to prepare for this fixture and so Steve Bruce will be hoping it’s enough to get some of those players back.
Fatigue from a punishing schedule was always likely to play a part this season, and especially for those without particularly deep squads, so the visitors should be favourites to bounce back from a tough couple of fixtures.