2PTS Crystal Palace to beat Newcastle in the Championship

21/10 PaddyPower or 2/1 Coral, BoyleSports and Bet365

(Saturday 22nd August, 3.00pm KO)

After a summer of turmoil, Newcastle have surprised many people by making a positive start to the season. The Geordies have picked up seven points from their opening three fixtures in an unbeaten start. However, the off the field circus shows no signs of leaving town and it can only be a matter of time before results on the pitch begin to suffer. The exodus of “star” players continues as Damien Duff this week followed Michael Owen, Mark Viduka, Obafemi Martins, Sebastien Bassong and Habib Beye out of St James’ Park. Steven Taylor is supposedly in talks with Everton at the time or writing and he too looks to have played his last game for the club. It must be extremely difficult for caretaker boss Chris Hughton to keep morale up as the uncertainty and exodus continues, with only two weeks left to bring in any replacements. Whilst Newcastle are likely to carry on picking up points at home, I think they will carry on from last season where they struggled badly on the road, winning just two away games. Every supporter of a Championship club will have their club’s home fixture against Newcastle in the diary and they will be seen as a major scalp.

Crystal Palace should be the proud owners of an unbeaten record so far this season but I’m sure you are all aware of what went on last weekend at Ashton Gate. For those of you who may have been away, Palace basically scored the opening goal yet the referee somehow decided it had gone wide and ruled it out. To add insult to injury, Bristol City then grabbed a last minute winner to leave colourful Eagles boss Neil Warnock foaming at the mouth. However, Palace bounced back mid week with an impressive win at Ipswich and are well capable of following that up with another victory over Newcastle. Neil Warnock has several of the most promising youngsters in the Championship in his squad and names such as Nathanial Clyne, Lee Hills, Victor Moses and Sean Scannell are likely to become familiar to fans of Premiership clubs before too long. They also have England U21 forward Freddie Sears on a season long loan from West Ham. Warnock seems to have put together a decent blend of youth and experience and Julian Speroni, Clint Hill, Darren Ambrose, Shaun Derry and Alan Lee have all been around the block and will offer guidance to the club’s youngsters. I don’t think there will be too many opportunities to back Palace at 2/1+ at home this season and they have a far better chance than the odds suggest in my opinion.

The Oracle

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