Premier League Preview: Newcastle United v Crystal Palace
By Football News
Tony Pulis will be out to demonstrate that he is the right man to lead Crystal Palace when they visit Newcastle United on Saturday.
Pulis replaced Ian Holloway in November and has since revived the Premier League fortunes of relegation-threatened Palace.
The London club have earned 24 points since Pulis was appointed, but remain just three points and one place above the drop zone.
And Palace will find themselves in the bottom three if they lose at St James' Park and Sunderland overcome fellow strugglers Norwich City.
Palace travel to Tyneside following reports that Pulis had been in a dispute with the club's co-chairman Steve Parish over their potential pre-season preparations for 2014-15.
The Welshman has rubbished those reports and was quick to brand speculation linking Newcastle boss Alan Pardew with a Selhurst Park return as "disrespectful" to the north-east club.
Pardew played for Palace between 1987 and 1991, helping them reach the FA Cup final in 1990.
However, the 52-year-old will be unable to attend the game against his former club as he serves the second game of a three-match stadium ban enforced for his headbutt on Hull City's David Meyler in the 4-1 win at the KC Stadium earlier this month.
Assistant John Carver will again be in charge and will hope for better fortune this time around after suffering a 1-0 defeat at bottom club Fulham last weekend.
Newcastle can complete a league double over Palace with victory following a 3-0 success at Selhurst Park back in December.
The hosts have a strong record against Palace, whose last win over Newcastle came back in 1998.
But Newcastle have a number of injury concerns going into this encounter and will again be without top scorer Loic Remy because of a calf injury.
Defenders Mathieu Debuchy (groin) and Davide Santon (illness) are both sidelined, but Hatem Ben Arfa and Sammy Ameobi are available after returning to the squad.
Meanwhile, Palace have issues up front with Dwight Gayle set to miss out because of an ankle injury, while Marouane Chamakh is still out with a hamstring problem.
Defender Danny Gabbidon (knock) and Barry Bannan (illness) both missed the goalless draw with Sunderland last weekend and it remains to be seen whether the pair will recover in time to feature.
Glenn Murray and Cameron Jerome are both in contention to replace Chamakh.
Pulis has conceded that the Moroccan's absence is a problem for his side.
"Chamakh won't be fit for Saturday. It is a massive blow because he plays that position so, so well," Pulis said.
"He is a good player, can score goals and he can drop into that number 10 position.
"It is a miss, but we have to get on with it."