Newcastle start a crucial stretch of five Premier League fixtures at Crystal Place on Friday. Then it’s on to a resurgent Aston Villa, who are currently doing well in 7th place before three straight against the promotion sides.
This stretch is where Newcastle have to pick up points to remain clear of the bottom three. We’ll likely know a lot more about this team after these five fixtures.
It all begins Friday night at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace are currently just two points ahead in 11th place. They are coming off a 1-0 defeat at Burnley yesterday so it’s a quick turnaround for them.
They’ll also be without Wilfried Zaha, who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating. Midfielder Luka Milivojevic is also self-isolating but could make his return if he tests negative this week.
Steve Bruce should get Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey back for Friday. Shelvey has missed the last four matches but did return to the bench last week against Chelsea. Wilson missed out on Saturday with his hamstring injury.
There’s been no announcement yet on the availability of captain Jamaal Lascelles, who was forced off at halftime last weekend with knee and thigh injuries. Hopefully, Jamaal will be able to go on Friday.
We didn’t expect much against Chelsea, and our low expectations were met. However, on Friday night, we must see some improvement from this Newcastle side or it’s going to get awfully nervy heading into December.