Crystal Palace travel north to face Newcastle this weekend having suffered a dismal defeat at the hands of Spurs on Wednesday – the scoreline flattered the Eagles as Roy Hodgson got it completely wrong from start to finish.
BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has offered his predictions ahead of the crunch clash and he expects the Magpies to take a different approach to the one they adopted last time out. Palace must be careful not to allow the game to become a carbon copy of their midweek loss.
Well, speaking in his weekly BBC Sport feature, the former Liverpool man said:
“Newcastle played OK in Monday’s defeat by Arsenal – looking fairly secure, but not exactly posing much of a threat. It almost felt like they were trying to keep the score down, which isn’t unusual for manager Rafael Benitez.
“I would expect the Magpies to be a bit more adventurous on Saturday, and I can see them edging this one.
“But both of these teams are safe anyway. It would be a massive shock if either of them went down.”
Sound familiar, Palace fans? The tactic which Benitez went for at the Emirates Stadium on Monday was basically the same as Hodgson’s for the opener at the new White Hart Lane – the Tyneside outfit are following it up at home, whereas Palace are on their travels again.
It is well known that the Eagles tend to be better away from home, where they are more inclined to sit back and hit their hosts on the counter, and Lawrenson predicts that the Magpies will look to be more ‘adventurous’ this time out.
Now, that should suit Palace, although they must be far more aggressive in their defending than they were at Spurs if they are to prevent this game from following the same script while also probing more themselves.
A Crystal Palace fan shares his most gutting moment of the last 10 years supporting the Eagles in the video below…
Hodgson, though, seemed inexplicably content with his side’s efforts on Wednesday night despite their posing zero threat on the front foot; it was only a matter of time before Spurs found the breakthrough as they kept the majority of possession and continued to create chances.
A win for either side will propel them further away from the drop but this game needs a response from Palace far more than it does from Newcastle.