Pardew prepares Palace to face Magpies for first time since switch
In four years as Newcastle United head coach, Alan Pardew went unbeaten, winning three out of four matches, against current club Crystal Palace. Now he will be plotting their downfall following his New Year switch to Selhurst Park, and Coral make the Eagles 11/8 favourites to beat the Magpies.
Pardew’s assistant at St James’ Park, John Carver, has the reins until the end of the season, and is 11/5 to build on four points from the last six for Newcastle with victory. Odds of 9/4 say it will be a draw.
Having once steered the Magpies to fifth, their former manager Pardew is rightly proud of his time in charge on Tyneside. “I thought I did a good job and walked out with my head held high, so I’m looking forward to the game,” he said.
“I’m not expecting or hoping for any reaction. We had some great times together. It was not so great the last year, but on the whole my experience there was great.”
Some sections of the Toon Army’s passionate and vocal support will continue to direct their ire at Pardew, even though he has gone. While controversial Newcastle owner Mike Ashley dabbles in minority investment with Scottish giants Rangers, which has also resulted in five players going up to Glasgow on loan, the Magpies have lost their last four away days in London across all competitions.
As the two previous meetings this term both contained five goals or more, tasty odds of 10/1 say the match total will be over 4.5 this time around.
Palace forward Dwight Gayle has already scored home and away against this opposition this season and, based on that, is great value at 2/1 in the anytime market. From looking short up front, all of a sudden there are attacking options aplenty for the Eagles, with 10 striking or wide selections open to Pardew now Yannick Bolasie is back from the Africa Cup of Nations.
Club captain Mile Jedinak has also returned from international duty, where he won the Asian Cup with Australia on home soil. He is a 5/1 anytime scorer chance, having converted key penalties for Palace this term.
One interesting subplot here could be the Ameobi brothers. Target man Shola was a cult hero on Tyneside in almost 20 years man and boy with Newcastle, but could make his Eagles bow against them, and is 11/4 to come back and haunt the Toon anytime.
Younger brother Sammy, meanwhile, is getting regular football under Carver. The leggy wide player is the same price as Shola to score. Punters may also be interested to learn that half of the six Magpies goals against Palace this term have come from defenders.
This may have slipped Coral’s notice as the likes of Paul Dummett and Daryl Janmaat (both 12/1 chances) and Mike Williamson (16/1) are temptingly long prices, despite previously netting when paired with this opposition.
Set pieces may be key in determining the destination of the points here, but expect Pardew to be desperate to get one over his old employers. A home win with both teams scoring is well worth backing at 19/4.