66 min: This has been awful. Something has to change. So Hodgson sends on Benteke and Riedewald at the expense of Ayew and Townsend.
65 min: Palace have had 56 percent possession in this second half. Not that Mr Roy will care. It’s all about what happens in the final third, and what happens in the final third is this: Kouyate shanks a harmless shot wide right.
63 min: Van Aanholt attempts a cross from the left touchline. It balloons off Manquillo and out for a corner. Townsend takes. After a quick game of pinball, Eze tries a Le Tissieresque volley, but slices spectacularly towards the right-hand corner flag. Goal kick.
61 min: See 56 min, replacing Shelvey with Van Aanholt.
59 min: Eze whistles down the inside-right channel and is clipped from behind by Longstaff, who got both ball and man. The Newcastle man goes into the book. Free kick, just to the right of the D.
57 min: Almiron drives towards the Palace box. Space opens up in front of him. He really should have a dig from the edge of the area, but unselfishly rolls towards Joelinton to his right. The pass is awful, Joelinton can’t adjust his feet, and Palace are able to swarm and clear. Guaita should have been put to work there.
56 min: Shelvey wallops witlessly into the wall. Artistically and philosophically consistent with the rest of this match, if nothing else.
55 min: Joelinton is clumsily brought down by McArthur as he bustles down the inside left. A free kick in a dangerous position, just outside the Palace box. Shelvey’s eyes light up.
54 min: Schlupp spins down the right and slides a diagonal pass infield for Ayew, who enters the box and toe-pokes past Darlow … but wide of the left-hand post.
52 min: Suddenly a little excitement as Ayew dinks a pass down the left for Schlupp, who dribbles hard and eventually earns a corner. Townsend swings it in. Kouyate goes up and heads over. He might have been better off leaving that for Cahill, just behind him.
50 min: The half-time team talks must have been as uninspiring as the football.
48 min: Otherwise, it’s been a nondescript start to the second half.
46 min: A little bit of space for Schlupp down the left. He whips to the near post but it’s an easy gather for Darlow.
Palace get the ball rolling again. Neither side has made a change. Perhaps the electronic board has given the fourth official an 6085 error code.
HALF TIME: Crystal Palace 0-0 Newcastle United
Palace and Newcastle aren’t the only ones experiencing technical difficulties tonight: apparently many viewers haven’t been able to log into the television coverage of this match. Amazon Prime have arguably done them a favour.
45 min: This has been an extremely low-quality half of football. Thankfully there will be only one minute added to it, after which both teams have 15 to work out ways to improve.
44 min: Van Aanholt curls from the left; Schlupp guides a header into the top-left of the stand. In the dugout, Christian Benteke looks on, and must wonder what happened to his career.
43 min: Shelvey nearly finds Wilson on the edge of the Palace box with a simple pass down the middle. Dann intercepts, then inexplicably rolls the ball straight to Joelinton, who fires towards the bottom right. The shot is neither accurate nor fierce enough, and it’s an easy gather for Guaita.
41 min: Newcastle snaffle the loose ball, though, and Lewis opens his body, attempting a curler towards the top right. Guaita claims, but that was a decent effort from the young left-back.
40 min: Shelvey sends Almiron into space down the left. Danger here! But Almiron’s cross is fairly aimless and easily cleared by Kouyate.
38 min: Townsend crosses from the right. Clark blooters clear. Nothing is happening.
36 min: Hendrick battles down the right and earns the first Newcastle corner of the game. Shelvey hits it low and can’t beat the first man. What a waste.
34 min: Palace hump a long ball up the middle. Ayew gets his eyebrows to it but Darlow comes to the edge of his box to claim. A retro 1980s feel to this game at the minute.
32 min: Almiron, Lewis and Shelvey try to get something going down the left, but despite being under little pressure, succeed only in making passing the ball look extremely difficult indeed. Newcastle have lost a lot of their early momentum.
30 min: From the corner, Eze tries to work some space to shoot in a crowded box, but ends up running the ball out of play.
29 min: Wilson plays a poor backwards pass that allows Schlupp to steam down the inside-left with intent to shoot. He enters the box, under a little pressure from Fernandez, and skelps a fine shot towards the bottom left from a tight angle. Darlow does extremely well to turn it round for a corner.
27 min: Good news for Newcastle: Joelinton is good to continue. He’s played well during these opening exchanges.
26 min: A break in play as Joelinton, who had come off second best in a tussle down the inside left with Cahill, sits down unhappily. On comes the trainer.
25 min: Palace stroke the ball around slowly, but suddenly Eze decides to move up a gear, shifting it into a little space down the inside-left and sending a fierce no-backlift riser towards the top right from 20 yards. Darlow does extremely well to palm away. That was an excellent effort from Palace’s new star.
23 min: Joelinton, Clark and Almiron combine crisply down the inside-left channel, but the move falls apart the second they reach the Palace box.
21 min: Eze strolls across the pitch, left to right, before slipping a clever diagonal ball down the inside right for Clyne, who wins a corner. Townsend’s delivery goes straight down the throat of Darlow. That’ll whack Palace’s final-third possession stats up to six or seven percent, I’ll be bound. Roy will be delighted.
20 min: Turns out Fernandez was indeed booked for that challenge on Schlupp. That’s a bit harsh, but there it is. Meanwhile Joelinton tries to send a power-curler into the top right from 25 yards. It’s a decent enough strike but never beating Guaita, who gathers without fuss.
18 min: Wilson is sent scampering down the right and fires low across the face of goal. The ball’s a yard or so too far ahead of Joelinton, who would have had a simple slam home from close range. Lewis clips the ball back into the box from the left, but Joelinton can’t get a proper head on it and the ball harmlessly runs away from danger. So close to the opener.
17 min: Schlupp is shoulder-charged out of play and nearly into the dugouts by Fernandez. The referee considers showing a card but thinks better of it.
15 min: Memo for Mr Hodgson: Palace have enjoyed 44 percent of possession so far. How much of it in the final third is yet to be calculated. Let’s hazard a guess at four percent.
14 min: Schlupp, Van Aanholt and Ayew are beginning to cause Newcastle one or two problems down the Palace left. Another high-speed move nearly opens the visitors up, but not quite. After a slow start, Palace have finally come out to play.
12 min: A lovely spin and high-power dribble down the left by Ayew. He passes Longstaff and Manquillo before having the ball clipped off his toe by Cahill, who purchases a cheap foul in doing so.
10 min: Palace finally send a couple of men over the halfway line. Van Aanholt crosses from the left and wins the hosts their first corner of the game. Townsend’s delivery is headed clear easily enough by Shelvey, but that’s better from the home side.
9 min: Joelinton brushes Kouyate aside with ease and strides purposefully down the middle of the park … before blootering a wild shot miles over the bar. Steve Bruce holds his head in his hands, but his team have made much the better start.
8 min: Newcastle knock the ball around this way and that, without doing too much with it. Palace totally happy to sit back.
6 min: Palace haven’t seen much of the ball yet. Not that Hodgson will care, of course, if that pre-match salvo is anything to go by.
4 min: Wilson and Manquillo try to combine down the right. Kouyate puts a halt to their gallop. Wilson has another go. Van Aanholt stops him this time. Newcastle have been extremely proactive in these early stages.
2 min: A scrappy start as both teams struggle to find their feet and their team-mates. But then suddenly Almiron slides a ball down the left for Joelinton, who nearly finds Wilson at the near post. His low cross is hacked away. Lewis tries again; Guaita claims.
Newcastle get the game underway … but not before all players take a knee. There’s no room for racism. Black lives matter.
The teams are out! Palace play in their red and blue stripes, while Newcastle wear second-choice neon yellow. We’ll be off in a minute. But beforehand, there’s a minute of applause in memory of the greatest of the greats: Diego Maradona. Anyone desirous of reliving his finest hour can do so with this MBM of the famous Argentina-England quarter-final at Mexico 86. Gracias por todo Diego.
These two sides have the lowest possession percentages in the Premier League, and both managers get a little bit testy when the subject’s brought up on Amazon Prime. First up, Roy Hodgson: “I don’t believe in possession stats. Until they have some relevance to the game of football I’m not interested, it’s a load of nonsense. The only possession stats I’m interested in are in the final third. The centre backs rolling the ball across the back isn’t possession. If we’re going to win the game it’s in the final third. If you give me stats of that at the end of the game I might be interested but I suspect yours will be the global kind and that doesn’t interest me at all.”
Dearie me. Steve Bruce is less abrupt, but still bristles. “I don’t take much notice of stats. Was it Jose who said Manchester City had all the possession the other day but he took the three points?”
Palace make two changes to the side named for the loss at Burnley. Gary Cahill and Jeffrey Schlupp take the places of Jairo Riedewald and Michy Batshuayi, who drop to the bench. It’s only Cahill’s second start of the season, the veteran defender having been bothered by hamstring and shin problems.
Newcastle make four changes to the starting XI selected for the Chelsea game. Callum Wilson is back from injury, while Jonjo Shelvey, Miguel Almiron and Jeff Hendrick also return. Jacob Murphy takes a place on the bench, while Allan Saint-Maximin and Jamal Lascelles are injured and Isaac Hayden is poorly.
Crystal Palace: Guaita, Clyne, Cahill, Dann, van Aanholt, Kouyate, McArthur, Townsend, Schlupp, Eze, Ayew.
Subs: Butland, Ward, Tomkins, Sakho, Benteke, Batshuayi, Riedewald.
Newcastle United: Darlow, Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Lewis, Hendrick, Sean Longstaff, Shelvey, Almiron, Joelinton, Wilson.
Subs: Matthew Longstaff, Schar, Ritchie, Yedlin, Murphy, Gillespie, Anderson.
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire).
Crystal Palace went down tamely at Burnley on Monday evening, while Newcastle rolled over for Chelsea last Saturday. Both will fancy their chances of a bounce-back victory tonight: Palace because they’re unbeaten in this fixture in five, Newcastle because Palace have lost 14 of the last 16 games without Wilfried Zaha, who is still isolating with coronavirus.
Palace can go as high as sixth if they give the Toon a good thumping. Newcastle can leapfrog Manchester United into tenth spot with a victory, or, if they’re the ones handing out a spanking, they’ll go ninth at the expense of Wolves. But neither of these sides are prolific scorers, so realism caveats apply. It’s on!
Kick off: 8pm GMT.
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