Crystal V Newcastle
Friday November 27, 20:30
Live on Prime Video
Palace look to bounce back after Burnley bump
Crystal Palace failed to score three goals in a match throughout the entirety of the last Premier League season, whether fans were present or not, but they've already achieved the feat twice this time around.
The Eagles beat Manchester United 3-1 at Old Trafford in their first away match of the season and they thumped Leeds 4-1 in their last home game two weeks ago. They're two impressive results and they also beat Southampton 1-0 at home in their opening fixture, as well as Fulham 2-1 away in October, but they're an inconsistent outfit and there have been a number of poor efforts along the way too.
Although Brighton didn't equalise until the 90th minute to make it 1-1 in the M23 derby at Selhurst Park in October, they were the better side and the hosts were somewhat fortunate to go ahead via a slightly dubious first half penalty. There have also been losses to Everton (H), Chelsea (A) and Wolves (A) this season but the most disappointing defeat occurred on Monday night when they became the first team this term to lose to a bungling Burnley.
That was a bit of a shock to the system after their dominant display against Leeds but the Eagles clearly missed their talisman, Wilfred Zaha, who was self-isolating after a positive coronavirus test and it perhaps wasn't a surprise that they struggled without him...
With five goals and two assists already chalked up this season, Zaha is a vital cog in the Palace machine and it's apparent just how important he is when you see how they've fared without him. The Eagles have lost 14 of the last 16 games when Zaha hasn't played. Manager, Roy Hodgson, will be very keen to get him back for Friday.
Newcastle set to lose three-in-a-row
Newcastle's Premier League season began with a solid 2-0 win away at West Ham and there have been other encouraging results on the road since.
New signing, Callum Wilson, scored in injury time to secure a 1-1 draw away at Spurs at the end of September and Jacob Murphy's 89th minute freekick at Molineux at the end of October earnt the Magpies another point courtesy of another 1-1 stalemate.
Newcastle comfortably beat an out-of-form Burnley at St James' Park but that victory was sandwiched between disappointing home defeats to Brighton (0-3) and Manchester United (1-4) before the Magpies then beat Everton 2-1 at home.
That looked a decent result at the time, but it transpired to be one of three defeats in-a-row for the Toffees, who did get back to winning ways at the weekend, squeezing past faltering Fulham 3-2.
Newcastle have been comprehensively outplayed in each of their last two matches, losing 2-0 away at Southampton and 2-0 at home to Chelsea, where they desperately missed their new talisman, Wilson.
Steve Bruce's Newcastle have had fewer shots (71) and fewer shots on target (21) than any other side in the Premier League (and that's with Wilson playing most of the time) so his return to the team on Friday looks imperative if they're to get anything form the trip to the capital. And that isn't something they're renowned for doing...
The Magpies have lost more Premier League away games in London than any other club in the competition's history (79) and they haven't won any of their last five top-flight visits (D3L2) to Selhurst Park.
Stats suggest a goal drought
Under in the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market is trading at around 1.75/7 and I'm in no rush to lay that price. There have been less than three goals scored in each of Newcastle's last five away games in the Premier League and since Palace pulverised the Magpies 5-1 at home in November 2015, there have been five 1-0s, a nil-nil stalemate and a 1-1 draw between the two clubs. That's just seven goals in seven games. With both Zaha and Wilson far from certain to be playing, it's hard to see that trend ending.
Both teams have scored in only one of the last seven games between the two sides and looking back at the two teams records last season, No in the Both Team to Score market at just a shade of odds-on would be my idea of the value. Both teams found the net in only 37% of games involving Crystal Palace, both home and away, and in only 42% of Newcastle's away matches. Again, with the distinct possibility of both sides being without their most potent striking threats, we're more likely to see a low scoring affair than a goal-fest.
A quick Palace start can pay dividends
These are two inconsistent and hard to predict teams that have only four sides trading shorter than them in the Relegation market. Both will be desperate to get back to winning ways after defeats at the weekend and I just fancy the hosts to edge it.
Palace are a fair price in the win market at around 2.47/5 but given they've been leading at half time in all four matches that they've won this season, as well as when they drew 1-1 with Brighton, playing Crystal Palace/Crystal Palace in the Half Time/Full Time market looks a better option.
The average time of Palace's first team goal this season is 17 minutes so they're clearly quick out of the gates and odds in excess of 3/1 about them leading at the break and going on to win are worth taking.
In stark contrast, Newcastle have scored a league-high 80% of their Premier League goals in the second half (8/10) and the average time of their first team goal is the 80th minute.
With all that in mind, and given the Magpies equalised late on away at Spurs and Wolves, and that Palace drew with Brighton after a last-minute equaliser, Crystal Palace/Draw looks like a sensible saver.
Looking at the goal scorer markets, 22-year-old attacking midfielder, Eberechi Eze, a £19.5m summer signing from QPR, is an interesting option. He's receiving rave reviews from supporters and pundits alike and he could start to bag a few now that he's opened his Palace account against Leeds.
Combining Palace to lead at half time and Eze to score at £8.46 for a £1 stake looks like a decent bet on the Sportsbook's Same Game Multi.