Graeme Jones takes charge of Newcastle for the first time as the Saudi-led Magpies travel to Selhurst Park on Saturday
Life after Steve Bruce begins for Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon, as the Magpies travel to Selhurst Park to take on improving Crystal Palace.
Graeme Jones will take charge of the Geordies on an interim basis, and attempt to deliver the club’s first win of the season, having gone winless after eight so far. The former Bournemouth man has been with his hometown club for almost a year, having joined from the Cherries mid-way through last season.
Adapting to life under a new manager is something the Eagles have gone through recently too, having ditched Roy Hodgson for Patrick Vieira in the summer.
After a slow start, Palace are getting results lately, and the joyous celebrations at the Emirates last Monday night after Alexandre Lacazette’s equaliser only illustrated how good a side Palace are becoming.
Conceding late goals is something of an issue though, having let the lead slip against Brighton the week before Lacazette’s goal in North London. Conceding goals in general has been Newcastle’s issue, as they lie 19th with 19 shipped after just eight games.
Whether or not Jones will change things remains to be seen, although ditching the back five Bruce copied from Rafa Benitez is definitely on the cards. A return to a 4-2-3-1 formation could be likely, with Miguel Almiron in his favoured number 10 role.
In terms of who’s not available, Newcastle are still without Paul Dummett, who suffered a setback in his recovery from a calf injury last month.
Also unavailable is Jonjo Shelvey, who was sent off against Spurs and serves a one match ban. Martin Dubravka has returned to training this month and is building fitness ahead of a comeback, but the decision whether or not that’s in South London will be made closer to kick-off. Fellow goalkeeper Freddie Woodman is also 50/50 after a muscle injury.
Patrick Vieira could have Wilfried Zaha back after he missed the draw with Arsenal last week, but long-term absentees Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson are out.
When these sides met last season, both teams won on opposition turf. Callum Wilson and Joelinton scored in a 2-0 win for Newcastle at Selhurst, before the Eagles exacted revenge in the North-East thanks to goals from Jairo Riedewald and Gary Cahill.
A win for Newcastle may not be enough to remove them from the Premier League relegation zone, which highlights the awful start they made under Steve Bruce. A win for Palace would move them closer to mid-table, and record just their second win of the campaign.
Crystal Palace take on Newcastle United on Saturday, October 23rd. Kick-off is at 3pm.