Newcastle v Crystal Palace preview: Dwight Gayle out for clash against former club
Last Updated: 21/10/17 1:55pm
Dwight Gayle will be sidelined for Newcastle as they go up against his former club Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.
Gayle picked up a calf problem after coming on as a substitute in last Sunday's 2-2 draw at Southampton and, although it is not thought to be too serious, he will miss out this weekend.
Newcastle - currently in ninth place with 11 points - will come up against a buoyed Crystal Palace side after they scored their first goals and picked up their maiden victory of the new Premier League season with at 2-1 win over Chelsea last weekend.
The Eagles will be looking to close the gap on the sides around them with more points on Saturday, although they have won only one of their last 12 league visits to St James' Park (2-1 in March 1998) and have failed to score in eight of those games.
While Gayle is out, Massadio Haidara is back in training after finally shaking off a knee issue, but fellow full-back Paul Dummett (hamstring) is still sidelined.
Crystal Palace will welcome back Wayne Hennessey (calf) and Ruben Loftus-Cheek (ineligible) on Saturday after they missed out last weekend.
Roy Hodgson's only absentees are strikers Christian Benteke and Connor Wickham, who have both injured their knee ligaments.
Newcastle have scored in 11 of their 12 previous Premier League meetings with Crystal Palace, with the exception being a goalless draw at St James' Park in April 2005.
The Magpies have lost only one of their last nine Premier League games on home soil (W5 D3 L1), losing to Spurs earlier this season.
Rafael Benitez has never lost a home league game in English football against a coach who has also managed the English national team (W16 D4), collecting 52 points from a possible 60 in these matches.
Hodgson has won four of his nine Premier League meetings with Newcastle (D2 L3) - he's only won more against Aston Villa (7), Bolton (6) and Chelsea (5).
Since the start of last season, no Crystal Palace player has been directly involved in more goals in the Premier League than Wilfried Zaha (eight goals, nine assists).
Paul Merson's prediction
What a result for Palace against Chelsea, and it just shows you how important and good Wilfried Zaha is, how big a player he is in that side.
This is another big, big game, and I can't really separate them. You like to think Palace have turned the corner, but if they lose this they are virtually back to where they were the week before the Chelsea game, because they would have highlighted this game as a potential three points.
If they can get a draw, it's been a great couple weekends for Palace.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)
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Despite upsetting Chelsea for their first win of the season last week, Crystal Palace are Sky Bet's underdogs for the trip to Newcastle, priced at 14/5 to win compared to the hosts at 19/20 - with the draw at 12/5. Joselu is favourite to give the home side the lead at 4/1, while Palace's match-winner from last week, Wilfried Zaha, heads the visitors' side of the betting at 13/2. Newcastle vs Crystal Palace is included in this weekend's Super 6 round, with £250,000 up for grabs. Enter your predictions for free here.