Newcastle United predicted XI vs Crystal Palace with two major changes made amid host of doubts
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Eddie Howe’s men have moved on from consecutive defeats against Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton in spectacular fashion by piecing together an unbeaten run spanning seven games in all competitions.
That run has included three consecutive Premier League wins and the draw at West Ham United, as well as the Carabao Cup victory against Manchester City, a goalless draw in a Champions League group stage opener at AC Milan and, of course, the memorable 4-1 home win against Paris Saint-Germain.
With the international break now over, and several of Howe’s players back on Tyneside, some big calls lie in wait for the Magpies boss as his side look to claim a win that could lift them into the top six of the Premier League table.
What team selection issues are facing Eddie Howe?
The most prominent concern for Howe is the availability of summer signing Sandro Tonali. The Italy international is currently awaiting news on what could lie ahead for him after he was questioned over links to illegal gambling in his home country.
The Magpies manager said that he will “make a call” on Tonali’s availability but that he has trained well and is available for selection, adding that the midfielder is “handling himself and his emotions strongly.”
Elsewhere, Harvey Barnes will definitely miss out but there will be late fitness tests for Joelinton and Sven Botman, who has been pictured stepping up his own comeback from injury. Howe has said it will be “too early” for Joe Willock to make his long-awaited return.
Another player who will be considered a doubt is striker Alexander Isak after the former Real Sociedad frontman withdrew from international duty with Sweden after suffering a groin injury in the 2-2 draw at West Ham United. If Isak falls short in his bid to return to fitness, Callum Wilson could a first start since he scored in the 8-0 hammering of Sheffield United last month.
Anthony Gordon will return after completing a one-match suspension.
What has Eddie Howe said about injuries?
The eventual return of Willock will hand a major boost to Howe as he has been unable to call upon the services of the midfielder so far this season as he battles his way back from a hamstring injury suffered in a 4-1 win against Brighton during the final month of last season.
Speaking last month, the Magpies boss said: “He’s (Willock) been away – he’s been in Spain I believe the last week, a change of environment for him, a change of focus for him.
“He’s been pretty good. There’s obviously been a bit of disappointment there, because he’s had a couple of setbacks. This injury’s an achilles injury, the one he sustained originally was a hamstring injury, and the achilles came out of nowhere.
“Disappointment for him – and he’s such a key player for us, so disappointment for us. But our aim is just to get him back as quickly as possible and back to his best form.”
Predicted Newcastle United lineup
Nick Pope, Kieran Trippier, Dan Burn, Fabian Schar, Sven Botman, Sean Longstaff, Bruno Guimaraes, Elliot Anderson, Miguel Almiron, Anthony Gordon, Callum Wilson