Crystal Palace will be aiming to extend their three-game unbeaten run when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League this afternoon.
The Eagles conceded a hugely disappointing last-minute equaliser against Arsenal last time out, condemning Patrick Vieira’s charges to a third consecutive draw.
However, there are plenty of positives to take from their recent displays, and the return of star man Wilfried Zaha following a short illness will be a huge boost to their chances of securing a much-needed victory.
Vieira may be tempted to make a few alterations to his starting XI for the visit of Newcastle given their recent woes, with the Magpies currently 19th in the top flight table.
A run of eight games without a victory to begin 2021/22 cost Steve Bruce his job this week, and Palace will be desperate to take advantage of the situation in which their managerless opponents currently find themselves.
With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast expects Vieira to line up at Selhurst Park, with three changes from the side which started against the Gunners…
In goal, the ever-dependable Vicente Guaita is set to start between the sticks once again as he goes in search of his first clean sheet in five games.
Ahead of the Spanish shot-stopper will be an unchanged back four consisting of Tyrick Mitchell, Marc Guehi, Joachim Andersen and Joel Ward after a string of promising displays from the defensive unit at the start of the season.
However, Vieira could opt for a more attack-minded trio in midfield. Jeffrey Schlupp may get a rare opportunity to impress from the off as Palace go in search of three points, relegating Luka Milivojevic to the bench.
Completing the engine room will be the dependable duo of James McArthur and Conor Gallagher due to their impressive recent form in the middle of the pitch.
In attack, the return of Zaha will be a big relief to Vieira, and it’s likely to see the £8.1m-rated Christian Benteke forced to watch from the sidelines despite bagging his first goal of the season on Monday night.
Summer signings Odsonne Edouard and Michael Olise are likely to complete the starting XI after their outstanding contributions in front of goal in recent weeks, giving Palace a very threatening forward line.