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Premier League preview: Newcastle v. Crystal Palace

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  • 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.

Huddersfield Town relegated after loss at Crystal Palace

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  • Terriers can no longer claim enough points to finish 17th
  • Zaha the clear Man of the Match
  • Milivojevic converts another penalty
  • Palace climbs 16th with 35 points

Wilfried Zaha won a penalty and assisted another goal as Crystal Palace ended Huddersfield Town’s chances at Premier League survival via a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Luka Milivojevic and Patrick Van Aanholt scored second half goals as Palace

Huddersfield Town escaped relegation last season with David Wagner, but fired the manager this season and has been unable to claw its way out of the basement.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Palace was far superior, but could not find a goal. Zaha was fantastic, and Andros Townsend will be considering himself snakebit.

Zaha tore apart the Terriers with a dribble and pass to a wide-open Townsend, but the former Spurs and Newcastle man zipped an effort well wide of the far post.

Townsend again went wide with a whistling attempt inside the final 20 minutes.

Zaha provided the breakthrough when he won a penalty two minutes later, and Milivojevic from the spot is about as automatic as anything this side of James Milner.

The Ivorian forward wasn’t faultless on the day, dragging a breakaway effort wide of the near post.

But he quickly made amends, setting up Van Aanholt for the second goal with a fine pass (and better finish).

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Zaha scores, sent off as Palace draws Southampton (video)

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  • Zaha, Townsend team up for opener
  • Ward-Prowse lashes in Targett pass for 1-1
  • Zaha gets quickfire, late yellow cards

Wilfried Zaha scored and was sent off at St. Mary’s, as Crystal Palace and Southampton drew 1-1 on Wednesday.

Zaha’s first goal in 17 Premier League matches was overshadowed late when he took the bait of fellow goal scorer James Ward-Prowse and then insulted the referee.

Saints’ point has them three clear of the drop zone, while Palace is 15th with 23 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Zaha spun a low shot past the diving Alex McCarthy after Andros Townsend worked through a foul to get the ball to the Ivorian winger.

Southampton was probably second-best for most of the night, but answered in the 77th minute when he ran onto Matt Targett‘s cutback to slash an equalizer home.

Vicente Guaita made a very good save, flying to slap Stuart Armstrong‘s curling shot away from the frame.

James McArthur then forced McCarthy into a fine save at the other end.

Zaha was given a yellow in the 87th minute, then earned a second by clapping at the referee in the 88th.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Palace eliminates Spurs from FA Cup

AP Photo/Tim Ireland
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Tottenham Hotspur’s miserable January continued Sunday with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had targeted cup success and was flummoxed when Chelsea avenged a first leg deficit by knocking the North Londoners out of the League Cup at the semifinal stage at midweek.

[ MORE: Giovinco leaving TFC? ]

Now nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool in the Premier League and facing Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League’s Round of 16, Spurs’ avenues toward a first trophy since the 2008 League Cup.

Having conceded a ninth minute tap-in goal to Connor Wickham and a penalty to Andros Townsend for a handball on Kyle Walker-Peters, Spurs were handed a chance to jump back into the game when Patrick Van Aanholt caught Juan Foyth in the box.

Enter Kieran Trippier and exit music for a wide effort.

Spurs host Watford at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Make sure to tune-in for our special Transfer Deadline Day show on NBCSN on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 5 p.m. ET as we focus on all of the moves across the Premier League in the January window. You can stream the show live online right here.

Premier League Preview: Liverpool v. Crystal Palace

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  • Reds open weekend with 4-point table lead
  • Palace four pts clear of drop zone
  • Reds won 2-0 at Palace in August
  • Liverpool leads all-time 27W-11D-14L

There’s a bit of a rub to the easy storyline here, that league’s stingiest defense hosts one of the least productive attacks when Liverpool entertains Crystal Palace at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Reds have allowed just three goals at home this Premier League season, but Palace has scored 14 of its 20 league goals away from Selhurst Park.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The Eagles have also won their last two away matches, beating Man City and Wolves.

What they’re saying

Jurgen Klopp on Andy Robertson signing a new contract“I remember when we signed him back in the summer of 2017, I spoke a lot about ‘his story, his journey’ and how much I loved it and thought it pointed to the type of person and player he would be for us. He has exceeded these expectations. He might be from Glasgow originally, but everything about him screams Liverpool.”

Palace’s Andros Townsend on playing up top“I have thoroughly enjoyed it. At first, I didn’t think it would work. I remember me and Wilf [Zaha] speaking to each other and thinking, ‘how is this going to work? We will get bullied by the centre halves.’ But for one reason or another, it has just clicked and we have enjoyed it. We have both been involved in a lot more of the play, and everything went through us two and we thrived off of that, and ended up doing very well.”

Prediction

The Eagles get on the board against Liverpool, helped by their fullback pair of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Patrick Van Aanholt, but don’t have enough to outlast the Reds. 2-1 Liverpool.