Newcastle United’s main objective when they returned to the Premier League after winning the Championship was to retain their status in the top flight.
If the season finished today, the North-East outfit would be safe, but only by a one-point margin.
Rafael Benitez and his team currently reside 14th in the standings, and will hope that the arrival of Islam Slimani on loan from Leicester City will boost their goal tally.
As it stands, the team have only found the back of the net 23 times in 25 league outings.
In fact, the club’s current top scorer Joselu has just four to his name, while Dwight Gayle is second on the list with three.
This weekend, the Magpies will face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, hoping for just their seventh win of the season.
Slimani will play no part in the encounter as he is currently sidelined with injury, which means that Newcastle will have to rely on their other forwards.
Pundit Paul Merson thinks that even though Palace have won just twice in their last seven league games, Benitez’s men will lose 2-0.
The former Arsenal player told Sky Sports:
“It’s been a bit of a shocker for Newcastle recently on and off the field. They got hardly anything in the window. Islam Slimani came in but he’s injured and can’t play, while on the field they were winning against Burnley before Joselu missed a penalty and Karl Darlow’s own goal handed the visitors a point. I just don’t see anything but a Palace win here.”
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