22 September 2014 16:49
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew heads to former club Crystal Palace seeking to further ease the pressure on him with a League Cup win.
Pardew’s men visit Selhurst Park for Wednesday’s third-round clash having not won a Premier League game this season.
A 1-0 victory at League One outfit Gillingham in the previous round of this competition represents Newcastle’s only victory of the 2014-15 season, leading many fans to increase the already-vociferous calls for Pardew to be removed from his position.
With Newcastle trailing 2-0 at home to Hull City on Saturday in front of watching owner Mike Ashley, Pardew looked set to heading closer to the brink.
However, he found salvation in the form of substitute striker Papiss Cisse, who rescued a point – and quite possibly Pardew’s job – with a late double on his return from a fractured kneecap.
Pardew admitted he had gone against the advice of the club’s medical staff by playing Cisse, and indicated that he is unlikely to be risked against Palace.
But the 53-year-old will hope that Cisse’s brace will give his side – who sit bottom of the top flight with just three points – momentum ahead of the tie with the club he played for between 1987 and 1991.
Yet any confidence Newcastle take into the match could be quickly diminished by a Palace team coming off the high of Sunday’s superb 3-2 triumph at Everton.
That win marked Palace’s maiden Premier League win this term and Neil Warnock’s first since returning as manager late last month.
And, with Palace having scored three versus Newcastle in the 3-3 draw that began Warnock’s second stint as boss, the hosts should have little hesitation in showing similar ambition going forward as they seek to earn a first home success over the Tyneside club since 1972.
Warnock has a near fully-fit squad to choose from, with striker Marouane Chamakh their only likely major absentee as he continues to battle a hamstring problem.
Cisse’s absence means Emmanuel Riviere should lead the line again for Newcastle with Facundo Ferreyra struggling to make the grade since joining on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk, although Ayoze Perez could also be deployed up front.
Attacking midfielder Siem de Jong (thigh) and teenage winger Rolando Aarons (hamstring) remain on the sidelines, while at the back Davide Santon is still struggling with a knee problem and Ryan Taylor has yet to regain match fitness after suffering two consecutive cruciate knee ligament injuries.