The Palace boss comes up against his old club at Selhurst Park on Saturday and Andrew Atherley reckons his team will prosper against Newcastle's fragile defence
"Newcastle have a propensity to lose heart once they fall behind (W0 D1 L6 when conceding first). As well as losing all four away games when conceding, Newcastle have lost each of those matches by at least a two-goal margin."
Back C Palace on Asian Handicap off -1 at 2.17
C Palace v Newcastle
Saturday November 28, 15:00
Plenty of attention will be focused on the dugouts, with Palace boss Alan Pardew coming up against his old club and Steve McClaren under intense pressure in the Newcastle hotseat.
It is interesting to note that when Pardew left Newcastle at the end of last year the club were 10th in the table and Palace were 18th. Now the positions are almost reversed, with Palace 10th and Newcastle 17th.
Palace's shock 1-0 home defeat by Sunderland means they slipped a little further back in the crowded group between the top five and mid-table. Tenth is the same position they occupied at the end of last season, although they are still in contention to climb higher as they are only two points behind sixth-placed West Ham.
The most serious injury concern for Pardew is Bakary Sako, who came on for the second half against Sunderland but then had to be taken off with a hamstring injury in the 69th minute.
Other than that, getting some consistency from his team is the main problem for Pardew.
Just as hope was starting to rise after two clean sheets and four points against Stoke and Bournemouth, Newcastle went back to their bad ways with a dispiriting 3-0 home defeat by Leicester last weekend. That left McClaren's side only a point above the relegation zone.
McClaren has not been helped by having to contend with one of the longest injury lists in the Premier League and the latest headache concerns defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote, who is a serious doubt for this match after picking up a groin injury against Leicester.
That leaves McClaren short of options in midfield, with Jack Colback among the longer-term absentees - a list that also includes Tim Krul, Emmanuel Riviere, Gabriel Obertan and Steven Taylor.
Siem de Jong could partner Vurnon Anita in central midfield, or another option is to bring in Moussa Sissoko from the right.
There could be a change in defence, with Kevin Mbabu fit again and possibly set for another chance to fulfil the promise he showed at left-back against Chelsea, in which case Paul Dummett would drop out.
Palace are the most topsy-turvy team in the Premier League and their motto appears to be "you win one, you lose one", in which case they're due a win here after last week's shock defeat.
Pardew's side have the lowest number of draws in the Premier League this season (one in 13 games) and it is nothing new during his reign. In 31 league games under him, they have drawn only twice.
The key here is how Palace perform against the poorer sides like Newcastle and in that respect their record is much more consistent. Before last week's defeat, they had won five out of five against bottom-half sides this season - their record at home in that category now stands at W2 D0 L1.
In the second half of last season, however, Palace struggled to impose themselves at home to bottom-half teams with a record of W1 D1 L3 and there remains some doubt over their effectiveness when teams sit back and defend, as they are clearly best suited by a counter-attacking style. The difficulty is clear from Palace's W3 D1 L7 record in their last 11 home games in the Premier League.
Newcastle may well have to keep a clean sheet, however - that was achieved by four of the five bottom-half teams who have taken points off Pardew's Palace at Selhurst Park (both this season and last).
When Pardew's side have scored at home to bottom-half sides their record is W3 D1 L0 (the draw was 1-1 against Newcastle in February). The worry is those four blanks against bottom-half sides, which suggest they can run out of ideas against packed defences.
Banking on Newcastle for a clean sheet is a risky venture, with only three shutouts in 13 Premier League games under McLaren. Those three clean sheets have led to Newcastle gaining five points (half of their total), which emphasises how important a shutout looks to their chances.
McClaren's side have lost all four away games when conceding and their ability to respond is compromised by the fact that they have scored only three goals on the road in their last 12 Premier League trips.
The Magpies have the typical profile of a struggling team in that most of their points have come against other sides near the bottom. Their record against other bottom-six teams is W2 D1 L1, leaving them winless against the rest with a record of W0 D3 L6.
Two of the draws in that second part of their record were goalless (against Manchester United and Stoke), which points to the opening-day 2-2 at home to Southampton as arguably their best result against one of the higher-class teams.
One factor that may have distorted Newcastle's record is their poor discipline. They have had a total of three red cards in separate games, all of which were lost (two came when Newcastle were still level in the match, the other when they trailed by a single goal).
If those matches are excluded, Newcastle's points per game average rises from 0.77 to 1.0, and three of their four defeats with a full quota of 11 men were against teams currently in the top six. That suggests their league position might have been different without the red cards, although the counter-view is that the indiscipline arose out of the pressure Newcastle were under in those matches.
This is a tricky match to call, given that Palace are not altogether reliable as an odds-on shot at home and Newcastle could frustrate them if they get organised enough (as they have shown they can do, notably in the goalless draw at Old Trafford).
A Palace win remains the most likely outcome, however, and Newcastle's propensity to lose heart once they fall behind (W0 D1 L6 when conceding first) makes Palace worth considering off -1 on the Asian Handicap at 2.17 for bigger odds on a home win (with stakes returned if the hosts win by a single goal).
As well as losing all four away games when conceding, Newcastle have lost each of those matches by at least a two-goal margin.
Over/Under 2.5 Goals
Neither team has a clear goals trend, both sitting mid-table in the over/under league, although over 2.5 goals looks likely in the event of a Palace win.
Four of Palace's six wins this season (and 12 out of 16 overall under Pardew) have had over 2.5 goals, while four of Newcastle's seven defeats (the last four) had the same outcome.
A bet on Palace to win and over 2.5 goals is another option to consider for bigger odds on a home victory.
Back C Palace on Asian Handicap off -1 at 2.17 (1pt)
* * *
Staked: 43 pts
Returned: 32.55 pts
P/L: -10.45 pts