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Newcastle United v Crystal Palace

5th April 2019, 20:56 by Tom Hill

Rafa Benitez's Newcastle United will be hoping to move one step closer to safety when they take on Crystal Palace this weekend.

The Magpies look pretty comfortable as it stands but they still need a few more points to confirm their status as a Premier League club for the 2019/2020 campaign.

Newcastle have won just two of their last five matches and they have not won back-to-back games since January.

However, Newcastle's home form has been incredible of late and they will feel that they have enough about them to overturn Palace.

The home fans have enjoyed four successive victories of late and they will be boosted by Fabian Schar's return following a two-match suspension.

He is expected to slot straight into defence meaning Paul Dummett or Florian Lejuene could make way.

Isaac Hayden, Mo Diame and DeAndre Yedlin all face fitness tests ahead of the game with Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-yueng on standby to fill in.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson does not have many injury worries, with centre-back Mamadou Sakho the only confirmed absentee. He is likely to recall Andros Townsend, who returned from a hand injury as a substitute at Tottenham in midweek.

Three defeats in five matches leaves Palace in the relegation fight, with Hodgson's troops eight points above the bottom three.

Many of their fans will feel that should be enough but another win this weekend would put the icing on the cake for the Eagles. Palace have won just one of their last 16 matches against Newcastle in all competitions, drawing five and losing 10.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Tom Hill offers a strong insight into football and rugby league, whilst also having a good knowledge of several other sports including boxing, horse racing and American Football.

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