United have an opportunity to put the throwing away of two points right on Wednesday night when they face a resurgent Crystal Palace side who have lifted themselves well above the relegation zone since Alan Pardew took over. Given the Sky TV coverage of this game expect a lot of sensationalist revisionism surrounding Pardew’s tenure here, don’t be surprised if Paul Merson or somebody of similar ilk is carefully selected to insult our intelligence. After all, they know best don’t they? Watching us play only a handful of times each season. Much will be made of the reception Pardew gets from our supporters, and whilst I have no right to dictate to those who are making the inconvenient journey down to London what they should or shouldn’t do; I really hope his presence isn’t acknowledged too much either way. That would be playing to the gallery and would make it all about him, which is what I’m sure he’d love.
In terms of team selection it will be intriguing to see which players Carver goes for in the attacking third, will he finally see that Ayoze is being given a thankful task on his own with no support? Could Obertan be given a start after opening up the game and giving us some much needed width on Sunday? Chances are Cabella could well be dropped given his reaction to being substituted against Stoke, it isn’t something I mind personally and he had every right to feel aggrieved at being taken off when the game was there to be won and he’d shown a lot more than Sammy that suggested he could make the difference. Despite his goal in the last game, in reality it masked a poor performance for Jack Colback and I’d still like to see him given a rest if not in this game very soon; his passing has been appalling in recent games and he was lucky not to be given his marching orders prior to his goal.
Palace come into this game on the back of a 1-0 win over Leicester in which they rode their luck a little, but they undoubtedly offer a threat on the counter attack and have quick players in the forward areas; I worry that they’ll stretch our defence which isn’t the quickest to say the least. We do come into this game with a decent record at Selhurst Park however, winning on our last 3 visits including a cup tie this season albeit with both teams fielding their second strings.
Crystal Palace 2 Newcastle 3: Riviere scored his first goals for United, despite leading 2-1 going into the dying embers of the game we were forced into extra time before Paul Dummett rose to send a ten man Toon into the next round, Abeid having been sent off.
Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 3: A really impressive victory here as United knocked the ball around for fun in the first half. Goals from Cabaye and an own goal sent us 2 up at the break, Ben Arfa firing home a penalty in the final 5 minutes.
Crystal Palace 0 Newcastle 2 – One of our opening games in our Championship season, first half goals for Kevin Nolan and Ryan Taylor ensured a comfortable victory for The Magpies.