“Need his pace and movement” – Sky pundit calls on 5 ft 8 man to deliver as NUFC miss key star

Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas has called on Miguel Almiron to deliver for Newcastle United when we face Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon without Allan Saint-Maximin.

The £20million summer signing from OGC Nice is expected to be out until the New Year with a hamstring injury, which prevented Saint-Maximin from featuring in the 1-0 loss at Burnley last week.

It has been suggested that Saint-Maximin’s absence paved the way for a dour performance at Turf Moor, as his threat on the break is one of our most promising routes in attack even though the Frenchman has just one goal and an assist to his name with the Magpies.

Almiron also does not have great numbers to shout about, either, with the 5 ft 8 Paraguayan yet to score in Black and White and only penned his first assist for the club in late November when he created our initial equaliser at home to Manchester City.

But Nicholas feels the 25-year-old’s speed and movement can help to fill the void left by Saint-Maximin’s absence, even though he does not consider Almiron to be a crucial part of Steve Bruce’s plans at St. James’ Park.

“Newcastle had a setback last week,” Nicholas wrote in his column for Sky Sports. “Jonjo Shelvey has earned his right to play, but he is touch and go, as is Miguel Almiron. They do not need Almiron because he does not score, but they need his pace and movement as Allan Saint-Maximin is out with injury.

“Newcastle are there to survive in the Premier League, and they are four or five wins from doing it already, which is a testament to the results they have earned this campaign. Steve Bruce has done a remarkable job, but it is about trying to hold a unit together, and I think he will do that again this weekend.”

Can Almiron be the spark in our attack vs Palace?

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Yes

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Nicholas is not expecting the contest between Palace and us tomorrow to be a wide-open affair, as the former Celtic and Arsenal striker has predicted the game to end 2-1 in our favour.

There have not been more than two goals in one of the Eagles’ Premier League fixtures since they lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool at the end of November, and the only previous occasions this season came against Manchester United, Tottenham, West Ham and Arsenal.

The Eagles have not conceded twice on the road since losing 2-0 at Chelsea on November 9, either, with clean sheets at Burnley and Watford in their road fixtures since.

In other Newcastle United news, the Toon have been credited with an interest in an £18million man likely set to be sold in January.

This article was originally posted here