Crystal Palace vs Newcastle key battles

Crystal Palace lock horns with Newcastle United at Selhurst Park on Saturday, hoping to get back to winning ways in the Premier League.

The Eagles bounced back from back-to-back losses in the Premier League by holding Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at home in midweek. Patrick Vieira would have been encouraged by that display, although he will expect more from his boys when they host Newcastle.

The Toon Army, on the other hand, edged past Fulham 1-0 at home thanks to a late header from Alexander Isak last time out. A win over Palace should see them reclaim the third spot in the table, or even go up to second if Man City drop points against Tottenham on Thursday.

On that note, here are the key battles that could define the outcome of the game at the weekend.

#Wilfried Zaha vs Kieran Trippier

Wilfried Zaha is Crystal Palace’s best player, and on his day, he can be unstoppable. He has registered six goals and two assists in 18 league games so far this season. Thus, the Ivory Coast international is definitely a huge threat for the Newcastle defence, which is likely to have Kieran Trippier start at right-back.

Trippier will be tasked with the responsibility of stopping Zaha from making runs in behind the Newcastle backline. The England international lacks pace to match the Palace talisman but his rich experience should go a long way in helping him stop Zaha on Saturday.

A lot will depend on Trippier’s performance against Zaha if the Magpies are to enjoy a positive result in south London.

#Joelinton vs Cheick Doucoure

In Bruno Guimaraes’ injury absence, the importance of Joelinton in the Newcastle midfield has increased. He has been a player reborn under Eddie Howe, and the Brazilian will look to take charge of the Newcastle engine room on Saturday.

It is expected that Joelinton will start on the left of a midfield three in Newcastle’s 4-3-3 formation. But, he might not enjoy a lot of time and space on the ball as he comes up against the tough-tackling Cheick Doucoure.

Doucoure has made a big impression since arriving at Crystal Palace last summer. The Mali international did very well in midweek to limit Man United attacks, and he should be raring to showcase his industry and steel to stop Joelinton from impacting the proceedings at the weekend.

#Miguel Almiron vs Tyrick Mitchell

Miguel Almiron has been one of Newcastle’s standout performers, and his consistent performances in the attack has been significant for Eddie Howe. Starting on the right of a front three, the Paraguayan will look to cause problems for the Palace backline with his pace, pressing and movement.

Monitoring his movements in the final third of the pitch is a difficult task and Tyrick Mitchell will have to be defensively alert if he intends to stop Almiron from scoring. Mitchell should have gained a lot of confidence after keeping Man United’s Antony quiet for the majority of the game in midweek.

So, it will be interesting to see if the Palace left-back can produce another defensively clean performance to stop the tricky wide forward in Almiron.

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