Newcastle travel to a south Wales to face a buoyant Swansea City side fresh from their victorious Capital One Cup final against Bradford last week by a record 5-0 scoreline. The first major trophy in the club’s history was just rewards for the Welsh outfit, who have progressed through the leagues in quite spectacular fashion and under Michael Laudrup this season, have won fans across not only the country but the continent and world at large with some superb displays.
The Dane has now urged his team to build on their League Cup triumph and has targeted a ninth-placed finish in the Premier League with a minimum of 50 points. However, if Swansea are to move three points closer to that target they will have to do so without Chico Flores, who is still missing with ankle ligament damage.
Elsewhere, midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng looks set to step back into midfield after starting at centre-back against Bradford, meaning either Kyle Bartley or club captain Garry Monk will partner Ashley Williams at the back. Michel Vorm is also set to return in goal if he can shake off an illness.
Visitors Newcastle have been well and truly boosted by their raft of January arrivals from France, collecting three wins from their last four to move away from the relegation danger. Key to that run of success has been the form of Moussa Sissoko, who has captured the imagination of St James’ Park with his powerful midfield running. The former Toulouse man is set to start in a withdrawn role behind Papiss Cisse, who scored both goals in the Magpies’ 2-0 win at Swansea last season.
Elsewhere, captain Fabricio Coloccini is struggling to shake off a back injury so Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa is on standby, while key winger Hatem Ben Arfa is in line for a first appearance this year after being missing since December with a hamstring injury.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea