Newcastle will be looking to return to winning ways in their home clash against Swansea City. Over the course of the past four games the club’s fortunes have taken a turn for the worse with the Magpies sliding down from third to their current seventh place position. Injuries and some poor refereeing decisions have not helped matters and the team need a boost in the run-up to a busy festive period. Newcastle still have four games to play in the calendar month and at the moment the momentum is against them.
Against Norwich City last weekend Alan Pardew was unable to field any central defenders in his side and was forced to name four natural full-backs in defence. Against Swansea he may have the luxury of being able to call on two experienced centre backs. Captain Fabricio Coloccini is the most likely to return to the side even if it may still be something of a risk. Mike Williamson could also make a surprise return to the starting XI after featuring for the reserves in mid-week. The 28-year-old got 45 minutes under his belt for the reserves against Bolton in his first outing since August. The Newcastle management have so far refused to rule Williamson out of Saturday’s game although it would be a big gamble given the player’s lack of match fitness.
In other team news, Cheik Tiote could also be in contention for a long awaited return to the team after a knee injury. With Dan Gosling suspended, the Magpies are short of options in central midfield with either Alan Smith or Mehdi Abeid on standby if Tiote misses out. French youngster Abeid has impressed for the reserves this season and despite his lack of experience could be thrown into the fray.
Alan Pardew has warned clubs off making a move for Tiote who is the latest Newcastle player to be linked with a big money departure. The Ivory Coast star is recognised as one of top holding midfielders in the Premier League. Pardew said: “He’s
One player who could soon be joining Tiote on Tyneside is Sochaux striker Modibo Maiga. The forward came close to moving in the summer but the two clubs were unable to agree a fee. Newcastle have maintained an interest in the currently out-of-favour African and a number of newspapers reported he travelled to London for a medical earlier this week. The club is also interested in defensive reinforcements with West Ham’s James Tomkins the latest player to be linked.
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