Newcastle United will be desperate to end their miserable run of six straight defeats by collecting the spoils against Swansea City, who they have beaten just once in seven Premier League meetings.
The mood on Tyneside is very much the same, if not worse, than this time last year when the Swans visited and won 2-1 through a last-gasp Wilfried Bony penalty. Last time out, St. James’ Park saw its lowest crowd of the season as Tottenham eased to victory amidst a low-key atmosphere.
With seven points separating the Magpies from the bottom three and only five games left to play, it remains unlikely that they will be forced to scramble for survival late on, but on the other hand, there are few signs that the poor run is set to come to an end. The ongoing protests will only affect the players even more.
The lack of an attacking threat showed for Swansea as they lost at resurgent Leicester City in their last game, with manager Garry Monk left to rue a day in which his charges were outfought from the start. But such is their resilience, they remained very much in the game until the closing stages.
On-loan Portugal international struggled as the lone striker in the East Midlands, so Marvin Emnes could get the nod here and as a former Middlesbrough player, he will be keen to impress. Also in for an interesting reception will be Ki Sung-Yueng, who tormented the Toon Army while at Sunderland last term.
Moussa Sissoko completes a two-match ban and so sits the game out along with Papiss Cisse for Newcastle, who are also unable to call upon Steven Taylor and Massadio Haidara.
Swansea defender Neil Taylor serves the second and final game of his suspension, while injury keeps out Kyle Naughton, Bafetimbi Gomis and Tom Carroll.
Think you know your football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG’s tipster competition – £11,000 to be won monthly!
Get upto £200 in free matched bets with bet365 - Click here to find out more