Steve Bruce's Newcastle face Crystal Palace at St. James' Park in the 8.15pm kick off on Tuesday night looking to make it a home and away double over the London club just 72 hours after achieving the same feat against Everton for the first time in The Premier League since Sir Bobby Robson in the 2001/02 season.
Newcastle United got back to winning ways in style against Everton at Goodison Park with a magnificent performance to a man & two great goals from striker Callum Wilson:
It was win that was a long time coming since The Magpies last picked up three points on December 12th against West Bromwich Albion but it was the manner of victory as much as the win itself which impressed everyone who witnessed a revitalised Newcastle side attacking, pressing & ultimately scoring two decisive, quality goals.
The first was an excellent header by Wilson from a superb corner for once for JonJo Shelvey, whose set piece deliveries haven't been to their usual standard of late yet everything about Newcastle was precise and of high quality as the players dug deep to produce their best and end a winless run due to Covid19 they will want to forget quickly.
It was the first game where Steve Bruce's new no. 2 Graeme Jones was prowling the touchline barking orders & instructions and he seemed to galvanise the Geordie side - demonstrating the "fresh voice and new ideas" that Bruce brought him in for immediately paying off in performance and points as he strives to help the club he has supported all of his life.
Bruce deserves huge credit for enduring the worst run of his career following a Covid outbreak at the club in December and its impact on the squad through injuries & fatigue and he has looked like a manager with the world on his shoulders but his friend Alan Shearer was the first to congratulate him naming him his Premier League Manager of the Week and selected Jamal Lewis & Callum Wilson in his Team of the Week:
The challenge now is to truly turn the corner and back that up with another good result & next up for Bruce's Magpies is Crystal Palace on Tuesday night and Roy Hodgson's men arrive at Newcastle on the back of a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers thanks to a quality team goal finished off by Newcastle summer target Ebere Eze:
Eze is one of a number of attacking weapons that Crystal Palace possess in the shape of Wilfred Zaha, Andros Townsend, Michy Batshuayi, Cristian Benteke and Jordan Ayew that Newcastle will have to be on their guard against but Hodgson's men have struggled to find any really consistent form this season despite the odd good result here and there and for every impressive win like at Old Trafford, they've had a 7-0 defeat by Liverpool.
Giant striker Jean-Phillippe Mateta, who secured a loan move to Palace on the back of 10 goals from 17 games for Mainz in Germany's Bundesliga, is a player who has been linked with a move to Newcastle in the past and even a rumoured £20M for a player some think is worth double that , could make his Eagles debut at St. James' Park:
Roy Hodgson cut a slightly exasperated figure in his press conference after the Wolves win despite his side's first Premier League win in nine games saying:
"Every victory is so important. You are looking at a point a game really to keep you in the league. Our attitude was good from the start. We played against a well-organised team. We knew we would find it hard. A good goal opened it up for us. We held out & if Zaha's shot had gone in we might have had a quieter last few minutes than we had!"
In his pre-match presser, Steve Bruce revealed Jamal Lascelles will miss the game through injury and also Ryan Fraser is a doubt with illness although The Toon boss welcomes back defender Paul Dummett and Allan Saint-Maximin is ready to start.
After joking that it was Neymar the club enquired about at PSG not Idrissa Gueye as had been reported, Bruce acknowledged 'inspired choice' new coach Graeme Jones' contribution to the win at Goodison Park and was particularly pleased he can name Saint-Maximin on a starting team-sheet for the first time in nearly two months, a welcome sight for all Newcastle fans:
Its the last day of the January window and Newcastle allowed DeAndre Yedlin to join Galatasaraay and were expecting a couple of players to come to St James' Park in the shape of Joe Willock from Arsenal and Leicester City's Hamza Choudury to bolster the club's midfield & attacking ranks, although neither will be able to play against Palace.
Prediction - Newcastle 2 Crystal Palace 0
Potential Line-Ups :