Preview: Newcastle vs. Crystal Palace

Preview: Newcastle vs. Palace
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Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Newcastle and Crystal Palace at St James' Park, where the Magpies will be without their manager and top scorer.

Newcastle United host Crystal Palace this weekend without manager Alan Pardew and several key players.

Pardew is serving the second of his three-match stadium ban, which is part of his seven-match suspension for headbutting Hull City's David Meyler earlier this month.

Top goalscorer Loic Remy, who has found the net 13 times this season, is also missing for the Magpies, along with Mathieu Debuchy and Davide Santon.

Palace held on for a goalless draw against Newcastle's Tyne-Wear rivals Sunderland last weekend to stay out of the Premier League relegation zone, but they remain only three points above safety.

The Eagles are winless in their last four games and have title contenders Chelsea next up, so Tony Pulis will be targeting a first top-flight away victory of 2014 to aid their battle to avoid the drop.

Marouane Chamakh continues to battle a hamstring injury and Dwight Gayle is out with an ankle problem, so Glenn Murray is again expected to be preferred to Cameron Jerome as Palace's lone forward.

Danny Gabbidon and Barry Bannan face late fitness tests to decide whether they will be included in the squad, but Pulis will probably stick with the same starting XI that he named at the Stadium of Light.

In Remy's absence, Newcastle's likely deputy of Luuk de Jong or Papiss Cisse have only one Premier League goal between them this season, but will have Hatem Ben Arfa back to help ease the burden.

Santon has recovered from the knee injury that has kept him out of the club's last three matches, but has not trained all week because of tonsillitis. Midfielder Dan Gosling could be named in the home 18, despite being found guilty of breaching Football Association betting regulations this week.

Recent form

Newcastle: LWWLLL

Palace: DLDLWL

Possible starting lineups

Newcastle: Krul; Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Ben Arfa; De Jong, Gouffran

Palace: Speroni; Ward, Dann, Mariappa, Delaney; Bolasie, Jedinak, Dikgacoi, Ledley, Ince; Murray

Sports Mole says: 1-0

Fourth official Howard Webb restrains David Meyler of Hull City after a clash with Alan Pardew manager of Newcastle United during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Newcastle United at KC Stadium on March 1, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City98103242825
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd96212241820
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs85211551017
4Chelsea95131710716
5Watford94321517-215
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle9423108214
7Arsenal84131210213
8Liverpool83411312113
9Burnley934289-113
10Southampton933389-112
11Huddersfield TownHuddersfield9333710-312
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton9324910-111
13West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom9243710-310
14Leicester CityLeicester92341214-29
15Swansea CitySwansea9225610-48
16Everton8224513-88
17West Ham UnitedWest Ham9225817-98
18Stoke CityStoke92251020-108
19Bournemouth9216613-77
20Crystal Palace9108219-173
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