Newcastle pair Jonjo Shelvey and Miguel Almiron could be fit to return after missing last week’s defeat at Burnley.
Allan Saint-Maximin, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark, Matt Ritchie and Ki Sung-Yeung are all still absent.
Crystal Palace’s defensive injury crisis could deepen, with Jairo Riedewald suffering from a hip problem.
Gary Cahill, Jeffrey Schlupp, Patrick van Aanholt and Joel Ward are all out injured, while Mamadou Sakho is serving the final game of a three-game ban.
Ex-Newcastle loanee Andros Townsend is also out for the Eagles.
MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES
Martin Fisher: If it’s a pre-Christmas goal feast you’re looking for then you might want to give this one a miss – just five scored in the last five meetings, and two of those were penalties!
This season, only Watford have scored fewer than Newcastle and Palace but the latter two sides have fared much better in other aspects of the game. meaning both are well clear of the relegation picture.
A win could potentially lift Roy Hodgson’s men as high as sixth, while even the biggest doubter of Steve Bruce should note that Newcastle are six points better off than at the same stage last season under the much revered Rafa Benitez.
VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT
Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce: “It’s always important that your home form stacks up and we haven’t lost since the first game of the season. We’ve given ourselves a good opportunity going into the Christmas period.
“I’ve got wonderful respect for Roy Hodgson. He’s been there, done it and still has that same enthusiasm and drive. If you’ve still got it at that age, why not use it? Year in, year out he does fantastically well and that’s why he’s still going.”
Newcastle’s home form remains a real strength – they have only lost one league game at St James’ Park all season.
- The last five league meetings have produced just five goals, three for Newcastle and two for Crystal Palace.
- Palace have won only three of their 18 league away matches against Newcastle (D4, L11).
- Newcastle are unbeaten in seven home league matches since an opening weekend defeat by Arsenal (W3, D4).
- The Magpies have taken 14 points from their past eight league games, the sixth-highest total over that period.
- They are six points better off than at this stage of last season and have their highest tally after 17 games since 2014-15.
- The Magpies have scored 17 league goals – only Palace and bottom side Watford have fewer.
- Steve Bruce managed Crystal Palace between May and November 2001.
- Crystal Palace are unbeaten in four league games (W2, D2), having only taken a point from their previous five.
- The Eagles have conceded only once in 365 minutes.
- Palace are unbeaten in eight matches this season against the sides currently in the bottom half of the table (W5, D3), conceding only twice.
- They have lost only one of their past five away fixtures.
- Their Premier League matches this season have produced just 34 goals, the fewest in the division.
- Only Manchester City and Liverpool have won more Premier League away games in 2019 than Palace’s tally of nine.
- Roy Hodgson has never lost against a side managed by Steve Bruce (W3, D4).