February 09, 2015

Back during the 2012-13 season, Kevin Phillips' extra-time penalty kick against Watford in the Championship playoff catapulted Crystal Palace into the Premier League, and prompted then-manager Ian Holloway to give a once-in-a-lifetime quote.

"We're in the Premier League so God help us," he told Sky Sports immediately following the victory.

Holloway has long since gone, as has another prominent manager in Tony Pulis, who kept the club up in spectacular fashion two seasons ago.

The club is now onto another local legend with Alan Pardew on the touchline, but consistency has been difficult to find for the Eagles since reaching the top flight. They will attempt to collect three points Saturday at home against struggling Newcastle United at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles (6-6-1) come into the clash needing three points to the stop the rot in front of the home fans, as Pardew's men have won just one of their last five league matches and also lost four of their seven home fixtures this season.

The most recent of those defeats came on Monday night against Sunderland as an 80th-minute strike off the boot of Jermain Defoe was enough to propel the Black Cats to their second win of the season.

Despite their troubling home form, the Eagles can give themselves a huge leg up on Saturday if they can manage to collect the first goal of the game. The South Londoners have won all six matches in which they have scored first, and conversely, have lost all six matches in which they have conceded the opening salvo.

"It's very important to get clubs which we can get six points from in a season," he said. "We've beaten Liverpool, Chelsea, Norwich and Watford away, and the opportunity to get six points off any team in the Premier League is fantastic. You only do it two or three times usually so we'll be targeting those home games in particular."

Newcastle United are hoping to put a poor spell to bed which sees the club winless in three of their last four matches, including a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of surprise Premier League leaders Leicester City last week.

Leading scorer Jamie Vardy, Leonardo Ulloa and Shinji Okazaki all found the net to send the Magpies to the home defeat.

It's been a struggle for Steve McLaren's side on both sides of the pitch. The Tyneside club has attempted just 125 shots, more than only West Bromwich Albion (117), while also facing a league-high 215 shots. Opponents have placed 73 of those on target, second most in the league.

If United hopes to take points away from Palace in a difficult venue, the back line will have to shape up quickly, especially in the second half. McLaren's men have conceded 15 goals in the second half this season, and only Norwich City (16) have allowed more.

Tactical substitutions have also had little effect for Newcastle this season as the northeast club is one of three - Palace and Swansea City are the others - without a goal from a substitute.

The Magpies injury list continues to limit McClaren's options as Cheick Tiote (groin), Rolando Aarons (ankle), Jack Colback (knee), Tim Krul (knee), Gabriel Obertan (hamstring), Steven Taylor (hamstring), Emmanuel Riviere (knee) and Curtis Good (hip) are all expected to miss out.

Considering the club's subpar result against Leicester, midfielder Vurnon Anita feels it is a must-win.

"We need the win," Anita told the Newcastle Chronicle. "It will be tough but we must stand there and win our game. We have been better in recent weeks. It is slow progress but we need the points. People only look at the points."

The sides drew both meetings last season, including a 3-3 at St James' Park in early August. Frazier Campbell scored after 71 minutes to cancel out a first-half Papiss Cisse goal in the 1-1 draw in February at Selhurst Park.

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