Crystal Palace make the mighty 298 mile trip to St James’ Park tonight, as they take on fellow mid-table settlers Newcastle United.
Although both sides are believed to be safe from relegation obscurity, they share the mutual ambition of reaching the traditional safe haven that is the 40 points mark.
A win for either side tonight would allow them to achieve that very ambition, though only one side can prevail.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Vieira revealed that the Eagles’ recent loss to Chelsea was a “massive disappointment” and ordered his side to answer questions raised.
In the same press conference, Vieira gave some succinct team news over his side’s injury status heading into this clash with the Magpies:
“Our captain Luka [Milivojevic] will not be part of the group. He felt something in his hamstring so he won’t be part of the team. Nathan [Ferguson] is still injured. Outside of those two, everybody is good.”
With that update, we at Football FanCast anticipate two changes from Palace’s loss against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Crystal Palace predicted XI: Guaita (GK) Clyne (RB) Andersen (RCB) Guehi (LCB) Mitchell (LB) Gallagher (RCM) Kouyate (DM) Schlupp (LCM) Eze (RW) Mateta (ST) Zaha (LW).
A return back to the 4-3-3 system after two games, and two losses without it makes sense for Patrick Vieira.
Perhaps the biggest boost is the return of 22-year-old Eagles loanee Conor Gallagher who has been dubbed a “sensation” by Zach Lowy. He comes in for the £1.4m-rated James McArthur, with Gallagher proving to be one of Vieira’s biggest creative threats this season having bagged eight goals and three assists.
Our predicted line-up also sees Nathaniel Clyne restored in place of Joel Ward, who started the FA Cup semi-final last time out.
The return of Eberechi Eze will be welcomed too, after the 23-year-old completed his first full 90 minutes against Chelsea in the last game, with the player who has been dubbed “special” by CoachesVoice now over his achilles tendon problem.
Jordan Ayew, a player described as “magic” is also an unfortunate drop-out with Vieira hoping to secure victory.