Newcastle face Crystal Palace away from home on Saturday as they look to bounce back from their 4-0 defeat against Arsenal in their previous match.
The Toon had managed to hold the Gunners until half-time, but they were blown away after the break by Mikel Arteta’s team. Whilst that was a bitter defeat to take, Arsenal were always the favourites – the match at Selhurst Park should be an awful lot tighter.
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With some injury issues to consider, Steve Bruce has some big decisions to make in terms of his starting line-up.
Here, we try to predict his starting XI as the Magpies manager makes three changes from the side that lost to Arsenal last weekend.
In goal, Martin Dubravka will keep his place. Whilst he may have been powerless to keep the opposition out in the previous match, he has managed seven clean sheets so far this term – only five Premier League keepers have more.
The former Sheffield Wednesday boss is forced to make a change in central defence. Ciaran Clark will be unavailable after coming off injured in that last clash, and Bruce has said he doesn’t know how long he is out for. As such, Florian Lejeune could come instead of the Republic of Ireland international. Alongside him, Federico Fernandez and Jamaal Lascelles should keep their spots, with Danny Rose and Valentino Lazaro in the full-back positions.
In midfield, expect to see Isaac Hayden return. He was on the bench against the Gunners, with Sean Longstaff taking his place, but the heavy defeat could convince the 59-year-old to take the 22-year-old back out of the side. On the flanks, Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron will be looking to provide the creative spark for a team that has just 24 goals in 26 league matches.
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Up front, there may well be a change. Joelinton, who has just one goal in 26 matches so far this season, has a thigh issue and is therefore a doubt for the match against Palace. The good news is, Dwight Gayle is now back from injury and ready to feature, which could see him come in for the Brazilian. If so, Bruce will be hoping he can be far more clinical in front of the net.
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