Two teams looking to extend their Premier League unbeaten runs do battle at St. James’ Park on Saturday. We look ahead with our data-powered Newcastle vs Crystal Palace prediction and preview.
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace: The Quick Hits
- Newcastle United (47.3%) are predicted to pick up a home victory against Crystal Palace (24.2%), according to the Opta supercomputer.
- Newcastle’s 17 goals conceded in home matches since the start of last season is the joint-fewest of any non-promoted side alongside Manchester United.
- All three meetings between these teams in all competitions last term ended 0-0, Newcastle’s longest run of goalless draws against an opponent in club history.
Newcastle will look to continue their impressive recent form when they welcome a Crystal Palace side undefeated in three Premier League outings to St. James’ Park on Saturday.
Newcastle return from the international break in eighth, fresh off the back of a string of eye-catching results, a run that included an 8-0 league win at Sheffield United as well as victories over Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain in the EFL Cup and Champions League respectively.
Even with his team in good form, the international break came at the right time for Eddie Howe and his squad, who were starting to feel the effects of fighting on so many fronts. The pause allowed the likes of Sven Botman, Joelinton and Alexander Isak to return to fitness having struggled with knocks prior to the interruption, while Joe Willock is reportedly in line to make his long-awaited return against Palace having missed five months through injury. Anthony Gordon will also be available having served his one-match suspension for picking up five yellow cards.
Harvey Barnes is the only long-term absence for Howe to worry about, not expected to be back until 2024 after picking up an injury in Newcastle’s 8-0 win over the Blades, the biggest top-flight victory in club history, while Sandro Tonali is expected to be available for Saturday’s lineup despite being let go from Italy’s squad over the international break because of an ongoing betting investigation.
While the international interruption allowed Newcastle to return with a nearly fully fit squad, Palace’s injury worries have received no such help and Roy Hodgson’s squad will remain heavily depleted as his team bid to stay in the Premier League’s top half on Saturday, currently sat ninth with 12 points from eight games.
Palace will be without key players such as Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise, though they could be boosted by return of midfielders Jefferson Lerma and Cheick Doucouré while Matheus Franca is reportedly in line to make his debut having been injured since signing from Flamengo in August.
Defensive solidity has been the key to Palace’s strong start, with no team keeping more than their four clean sheets. In fact, Hodgson’s men have not conceded in their last three league games, and Saturday gives them the opportunity to extend that streak to four for the first time since February-June 2020, a run that included a 1-0 win over Newcastle.
They will need that defence this weekend against a Newcastle side who lead the Premier League in expected goals (17.5), with only Brighton scoring more than the Magpies’ 20 this season. Isak has been a huge part of that, scoring in his last three Premier League appearances, and on Saturday he could become the second Swedish player to score in four consecutive games in the competition after Fredrik Ljungberg for Arsenal in April 2002.
Palace will also have to be very wary of Newcastle’s set-piece threat, thanks in huge part to the delivery of Kieran Trippier, who has created 89 chances from set plays in the Premier League since the start of last season, 28 more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues. The centre-back pairing of Marc Guéhi and Joachim Andersen have been outstanding so far in this campaign, and they will need to put in another strong display from the kick-off this weekend.
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace Head-to-Head
Having beaten Newcastle United in three of their five Premier League meetings between February 2019 and April 2021, Palace have not won any of the last four and have failed to score in each of the last three games between the sides.
Since the turn of the century, Palace have won just four of their 25 matches against Newcastle in all competitions, though they did take maximum points away from St. James’ Park twice in three seasons between the 2018-19 and 2020-21 campaigns.
It has been a very low-scoring fixture of late with just three goals scored across the last four Premier League meetings, while an EFL Cup tie last season ended goalless before Newcastle won on penalties to reach the last 16 thanks to Nick Pope’s heroics, going on to lose the final to Man United.
Newcastle are in the top eight and without a Premier League defeat since September 2, and yet, Eddie Howe may be frustrated his side are not even higher in the league table, with Opta’s expected points model stating they should have 16.4 points, 3.4 more than their actual total. Their expected points ranks second behind only Man City (16.6).
A run of three straight defeats prior to this undefeated run did not help their cause, though it would be remiss to not factor in the calibre of opponent during that losing streak, taking on Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton, teams predicted to finish first, second and seventh respectively according to Opta’s 10,000 simulations of this season.
After conceding in four of their first five Premier League outings to kick off this season, Crystal Palace have now kept clean sheets in three straight matches. This is a return to the back end of last term where Hodgson shored up the backline to stave off the Eagles’ relegation fears, and since his return in April, Palace have conceded just 18 Premier League goals, with only Man City letting in fewer over that time among sides who played in both the 2022-23 and 2023-24 campaigns.
The obstacle to Palace threatening the European spots lies in their attack, where the departure of Wilfried Zaha to Galatasaray and injuries to the likes of Eze and Olise have left a big hole. Two 0-0 draws in their last three league games has shown their attacking impotence, with Palace’s total xG of nine for this season, as well as their actual goals scored of seven, both ranking in the bottom six of the Premier League.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Newcastle vs Crystal Palace Prediction
The Opta supercomputer is predicting Newcastle to come away from Saturday’s home game against Crystal Palace with all three points, with the Magpies winning 47.3% of the 10,000 simulations ahead of the weekend.
Palace are given a 24.2% chance of victory, which would be just the fourth time Newcastle have been beaten on home turf since the start of last term. A point would be a very respectable result for Hodgson’s men, and the draw happens in 28.5% of simulations. With the away win/draw double chance standing at 52.7%, Palace fans could well be making the long journey home with a positive result in the bag.
For Newcastle, this is the type of fixture they need to win if they are to repeat their top-four heroics of last season. The Opta supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations before this weekend’s action gives Howe’s men a 35.7% chance of finishing in the Champions League spots again, though their estimated finish is fifth, the same as Opta’s pre-season prediction. Palace, meanwhile, are now expected to finish 10th, their highest finish since the 2014-15 campaign under Alan Pardew and two spots above their pre-season forecast of 12th.
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