Crystal Palace v Newcastle preview: Islam Slimani faces late test
Last Updated: 04/02/18 2:30pm
Islam Slimani is a doubt to make his Newcastle debut at Crystal Palace on Nissan Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League from 1.30pm.
The striker joined the Magpies on loan from Leicester on Deadline Day, but faces a late fitness test to decide whether he will feature at Selhurst Park.
He has started just seven games in all competitions this season, but said: "I think I'm a goal-scorer. That is what this team needs - it needs more goals, and that is what I'll try to do in my time here; score as many goals as I possibly can."
Newcastle have struggled to score goals this season and have only won once in the Premier League over the last month.
They start the weekend just one point above the relegation zone, while Palace are two points ahead. Deadline Day signing Alexander Sorloth is set to go straight into the squad to hand Palace a boost as they look to earn second win of 2018 to pull further clear of the relegation zone.
"It must have been a long time ago, if ever, that so many teams were so close to each other with the distance between the bottom team and the team that is eighth being so small," Roy Hodgson said.
Crystal Palace will be without Bakary Sako for the rest of the season after the forward suffered a fractured ankle and damaged ligaments.
Defender Jeffrey Schlupp (knee) and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ankle) are both in recovery, while Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon and Connor Wickham will all miss the remainder of the season because of major knee injuries.
Keeper Martin Dubravka will go straight into the Newcastle squad after completing his switch from Sparta Prague and he will be joined by Rob Elliot following his recovery from a back problem, but defenders Jesus Gamez (ankle) and Florian Lejeune (foot) are still out.
Crystal Palace have only won one of their six home Premier League meetings with Newcastle (D1 L4), but that victory came in the most recent match, a 5-1 win in November 2015.
Newcastle United have won 10 of their last 14 matches against Crystal Palace in all competitions (D3 L1).
Crystal Palace have lost just once in their last nine Premier League home games (W4 D4), keeping a clean sheet in each of the last two. They last recorded three consecutive home shutouts in the Premier League back in April 2017 under Sam Allardyce.
Roy Hodgson could become the third manager to beat Newcastle in the Premier League with four or more different teams alongside Sam Allardyce (5) and Mark Hughes (4). Hodgson has previously beaten Newcastle with Blackburn, Fulham and West Brom.
Joselu is Newcastle United's top scoring player in the Premier League this season with four goals - this is the lowest-scoring top goalscorer for a club in the competition this season alongside Burnley (Chris Wood - 4) and West Bromwich Albion (Jay Rodriguez - 4).
Christian Benteke has failed to score in all 10 of his Premier League appearances at Selhurst Park this season, despite playing 780 minutes, having 22 shots and an xG total of 3.64 in games there.
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.
Palace had a bit of a disappointing Deadline Day but that shouldn't affect them too much. They have been in decent form recently but they do have to be a bit careful. They are still in the relegation battle, as the Arsenal result proved, so they still need to pick up wins consistently.
PAUL PREDICTS 2-0 (8/1 with Sky Bet)