Townsend Returns

Palace are effective on the counter-attack and how difficult a challenge will the Eagles pose?

Andros Townsend returns to Tyneside tomorrow, but the former Newcastle winger is only one of the counter-attacking threats Palace boast.

Image result for Newcastle United v Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha is one of the best Premier League players not currently at a top-six club, while ex-United left-back Patrick van Aanholt also likes to get forward whenever he can.

Newcastle have won five games in succession on Tyneside, but do the Eagles pose a significant challenge to United at St James' Park this weekend?

Townsend always gave 100% in a black and white shirt but he was soon to fly the roost when given the chance.

Will he be welcome by the Toon fans when he returns tomorrow?

Will Newcastle be safe if they defeat Palace?

Cardiff City's back-to-back defeats against Chelsea and Manchester City have left the third-bottom Bluebirds seven points behind Newcastle - although it is essentially eight once goal-difference is taken into account - with just six games remaining.

Should the Magpies win this weekend, then Newcastle will also move on to the 38-point mark which Benitez has previously suggested would be enough to secure survival - and then allow talks over his own future to recommence.

So is Benitez willing to declare Newcastle safe if they do claim a victory over the Eagles tomorrow?