Getty Images

Premier League preview: Newcastle v. Crystal Palace

Leave a comment
  • Newcastle has lost just 1 of its last 16 matches v. Palace
  • Crystal Palace has 19 away goals in 2019, a joint-league high
  • Newcastle has a five-game home PL winning streak

Amid speculation about Rafa Benitez‘s uncertain future, Newcastle takes to the field as the Magpies host Crystal Palace at St. James Park on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

With his contract set to run out this summer, Benitez claimed the “ball is in Newcastle United’s court” when it comes to an extension. While he looks to finish out the season strong amid the speculation, Newcastle takes on Crystal Palace to begin one of the more lenient run-ins among the Premier League, at least on paper. The Magpies have remaining games against Fulham, Brighton, Southampton, and Crystal Palace remaining to go along with top-half matchups with Liverpool and Leicester City.

[ MORE: Watch Newcastle v. Crystal Palace live on NBCSports.com ]

Newcastle also has good news on the injury front, with Isaac Hayden, Mohamed Diame and DeAndre Yedlin all either returning this weekend or close to doing so in the near future. In addition, Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-Yeung have both recently returned from long injury troubles and could see more time on the field in the coming matches.

For Crystal Palace, the magical 40-point threshhold is just four points away, and while they’re already all but safe with an eight-point cushion with six matches to go, matches such as this provide an opportunity amid a bit tougher of a late-season fixture list. The Eagles still have matches against Manchester City, Arsenal, and Everton remaining before meeting Cardiff City and Bournemouth to close out the campaign.

Roy Hodgson will have Andros Townsend to call upon, with the England international returning from a hand injury as a substitute midweek. Other than a long-term knee injury to Mamadou Sakho, there are no other certain injury concerns for Crystal Palace ahead of the road visit to St. James.

What they’re saying

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez on his contract situation: “The only club I’m talking about my future [with] now is Newcastle United, and I’m waiting for an answer. Why? Because we have been in contact and I’m waiting for an answer.”

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on their table position:  “We haven’t actually gone out saying we’re safe. We can’t stop the general opinion that’s out there – we realize we need more points and we also realize we’ll be coming across some very good teams that’ll make it hard for us to get those points.”

Prediction

While there’s not a ton on the line for these two teams, these two seasoned managers know how to motivate a squad with little to play for. Benitez in particular will have his job – not on the line, but plenty to prove. The home crowd should boost Newcastle, and with a healthy squad, the Magpies will win a fun one 3-2.

Hosts Watford snare late point v. Newcastle United

Leave a comment
  • Magpies claim 4 of 6 pts from Hornets
  • Super sub Doucoure scores
  • Dubravka makes several big saves
  • Rondon opens scoring

Abdoulaye Doucoure and Salomon Rondon traded goals as Watford came back to draw Newcastle United 1-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

The point keeps Newcastle 15th with 18 points, while Watford is ninth with 28 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Isaac Success won an early dangerous free kick for Watford, but the wall did its job in the face of Gerard Deulofeu‘s effort.

Salomon Rondon had the ball in the goal but was defied by a tight offside call before a chance at the other end; Deulofeu found himself 1v1 with Martin Dubravka in the 16th minute, but the Newcastle keeper made a fine block to keep the match scoreless.

Newcastle took the lead in the 29th minute, as Christian Atsu slid Matt Ritchie down the left wing and Rondon headed the Scot’s cross past Ben Foster for 1-0.

Rondon had another in the goal, but was offside again. He’d have a hat trick if not for the arcane rule.

Dubravka saved a Success rip from distance as the Hornets looked to get it level before the break.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Mohamed Diame gave away a free kick on the edge of the 18 in the 46th minute, but Roberto Pereyra‘s hit was blocked by the wall.

Doucoure gave the hosts a goal in the 82nd minute, as Deulofeu’s cross was headed past Dubravka.

Rondon laid the ball down for a DeAndre Yedlin shot in the final five minutes, but the American’s vicious effort was off frame.

Doucoure and Success both missed chances to win it late for the hosts, who next travel to Bournemouth. Newcastle hosts Manchester United in its next fixture.

Liverpool breezes past Newcastle United

Leave a comment
  • Lovren scores in 1st half
  • Salah wins, converts penalty
  • Shaqiri, Fabinho add insurance

Liverpool clobbered Newcastle United 4-0 on Boxing Day at Anfield, moving six points clear of second place Tottenham Hotspur.

Dejan Lovren, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Fabinho scored for the Reds, who are now unbeaten in 20-straight Premier League matches. They have a seven-point advantage on third place Man City.

Newcastle is five points clear of the drop zone, but began a daunting run of fixtures at Anfield.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Matt Ritchie supplied a terrific cross over the head of Virgil Van Dijk in the 8th minute, but Joselu failed to turn it on goal and Liverpool were off the hook.

The Reds quickly answered with a chance of its own, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane teaming up to find Xherdan Shaqiri. The Swiss midfielder missed the mark.

Lovren put Liverpool ahead when Jamaal Lascelles‘ poor clearance of an Andy Robertson cross was lashed into the top of the goal from 16 yards.

The Reds were off-and-running, with Anfield behind them, and it was all Martin Dubravka could do to stop Mane from making it 2-0 when the keeper sprawled in front of the Senegalese man’s effort.

Ritchie took a ball off of Robertson following a partially-cleared cross, stinging a shot wide of the far corner from 20_plus yards.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Paul Dummett got a hold of Salah and the Egyptian wizard hit the deck to ask for a penalty. He got it, and converted, for 2-0 in the 48th.

Shaqiri then put it to bed — not like Newcastle looked in danger of scoring more than once in the half — when Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s smart pass along the six capped off a long spell of threats from the hosts.

Fabinho got in front of Mohamed Diame to finish the scoring.

Chicharito brace leads West Ham at Newcastle

Leave a comment
  • Two goals for Chicharito
  • Newcastle out-attempts WHUFC 16-7
  • West Ham goes 13th
  • End of NUFC’s three-match win streak

Javier Hernandez scored a pair of goals to lead West Ham United to a 3-0 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Felipe Anderson added a third goal in stoppage time to give the Irons their second away win of the season.

Both teams started the day with 12 points, and West Ham is up to 13th with the win.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Irons led after 11 minutes of play, with Robert Snodgrass‘ right wing cross meeting the well-timed run of El Tri poached Hernandez for 1-0.

Newcastle came close to scoring via free kick, a sweeping left-footed cross from Matt Ritchie headed to West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski from Ayoze Perez.

The Spaniard missed a header in the 27th minute, and badly flubbed a stoppage time chance before Pablo Zabaleta slid to block an in-tight Salmon Rondon chance.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Chicharito missed two golden chances to make it 2-0, losing a Marko Arnautovic square pass in his feet before firing a 1v1 chance wide of Martin Dubravka‘s near post.

Fabian Schar won a corner when Perez slipped him deep into the right side of the box, but his shot was saved for a corner by Fabianski.

Instead, Chicharito made it 2-0 in the 64th when he perfectly timed his run to meet a headed flick from Arnautovic before beating Fabianski to the near post.

Mohamed Diame could reach a chance to make it 2-0 in the 66th.

Dubravka then stymied a Felipe Anderson breakaway.

Newcastle kept trying to find a way back, with missed crosses and low-percentage shots telling most of the story.

Newcastle tops Bournemouth behind Rondon brace

Leave a comment
  • Rondon scores twice in 1st half
  • Lerma pulls one back before break
  • Magpies win second-straight

Salomon Rondon scored a pair of goals as Newcastle United won its second-straight match, this one a 2-1 win over Bournemouth at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Newcastle has won seven of its nine points in its last three matches, the last two wins, as the Magpies rise 14th with nine points.

Bournemouth sits sixth with 20 points. Jefferson Lerma scored the Cherries’ goal.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Bournemouth wasn’t shy to start the match, with Jordon Ibe’s promising chance thwarted by a sliding Federico Fernandez.

But Newcastle opened the scoring when DeAndre Yedlin raced onto the end of a Mohamed Diame cross, cutting back for Rondon to score on the second of two bids on Asmir Begovic.

The Magpies were very much under siege for the next 20 minutes, with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka very busy.

Bournemouth’s Adam Smith pulled up with a non-contact injury in the run-up to a free kick, and needed a stretcher.

But Rondon struck again, rising high to latch onto a Kenedy cross and deliver a trademark goal.

Begovic stopped a point-blank shot from Kenedy just before halftime, and was called into action again when a Ki Sung-yeung free kick was nearly headed in by Fabian Schar.

Lerma headed a close-range effort home to make it 2-1 before the break, and Ayoze Perez almost answered toward the end of 8 minutes of first half stoppage.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Perez cued up a sliding Ritchie effort that spun wide of the far post in the 63rd minute.

Ibe missed a bid to level the score in the 73rd minute.

Newcastle tested Begovic through substitute Christian Atsu in the 81st minute.

Ex-Magpie midfielder Dan Gosling thought he’d scored when Dubravka pawed a hard shot onto his path, but the Bournemouth man was offside.

Rondon came close to completing his hat trick in the 89th, but Begovic kicked it aside.