Two sides firmly routed in mid-table meet at St James’ Park, intent on getting back to winning ways.
Newcastle come into the game on the back of a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to West Ham, a blot on what had been an excellent record of one defeat in nine. One win in the five league matches previous, could be cause for concern for boss Alan Pardew, and the pressure is on to take points from upcoming clauses with lower half of the table sides Southampton, Stoke, and Wigan, but starting at home to Swansea on Saturday.
The Swans meanwhile are in steady form, with one defeat in the last six, against Manchester City, and with a confidence building win over Liverpool, and draw at home to Chelsea, Brian Laudrup’s side will feel they can match the Magpies.
Newcastle are waiting not the latest from striker Papiss Cisse, who missed international duty in midweek with a back injury. The Senegal man has only netted one goal this season, against West Brom. Johan Cabaye is out with a groin injury, joining Jonas Gutierrez on the treatment table. Chiekh Tiote does however return from suspension.
Swansea have significant injury problems – Kemy Agustien has missed much of the past 2 months with a calf injury picked up in a car crash – however as he nears recovery with that, he has picked up a toe problem that keeps him out of this clash. Ki Sung-Yueng is out with a hamstring injury, Pablo Hernandez faces a late check on his fitness, as does Leon Briton. Chico Flores returns from a dead leg.
“There’s no excuse. We should have won against West Ham. We want to threaten the top half of the Premier League.
“The West Ham result has knocked us back a bit. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we don’t want to be in mid-table.
“This is a big game now – it’s just about the next game, and nothing else.”
“When we play against the big teams, or against teams who are very strong physically, there will be times when we come under pressure. We have to accept that and we have to cope with that.
“Newcastle will have big guys up front, like Southampton did with (Rickie) Lambert last weekend.
“We have to learn that he is not the dangerous one, because I’ve never seen someone score with a header from 18 yards.”