The Eagles' current favoured striker Connor Wickham is carrying a knock whereas Glenn Murray moved to Bournemouth on transfer deadline day, leaving Gayle with an opportunity after almost leaving the club recently.
Manager Alan Pardew said in his pre-match conference: "Connor's knock and Murray's move has given Dwight an opportunity. He has a chance of being in the side.
"One of the problems he faced with us was that we could not give him enough game time. At one time he seemed on the way out but now he's very focused and prepared to fight for his place."