Swansea City are aiming for a first win in four Premier League games as they take on Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
After defeats against high-flying Chelsea and Southampton, the hosts were solid if unspectacular as they earned a point in their previous match at Sunderland, surviving the closing stages with 10 men. It was more evidence that the Swans are tighter defensively this time around, with only Diego Costa proving capable of regularly unpicking a back four which now includes Argentine Federico Fernandez.
Only their superiority to Burnley in the goals scored column is keeping Newcastle off the bottom of the Premier League at present, and as a result the pressure on Alan Pardew is as intense as ever. He badly needs a win, but his side appear to lack quality, with a below-par display at Stoke City extending a terrible start to the campaign.
It was a game which the Magpies could have lost by more than Peter Crouch’s first half header, but there was plenty of effort from the players, which suggests that they are still playing for the manager in these tough times.
Ashley Richards is expected to make his first league start for Swansea since 2011 in the absence of right-backs Angel Rangel and Dwight Tiendalli.
Newcastle have no injury problems, but will assess striker Papiss Cisse to determine whether he is fit enough to make his first start following a lengthy spell out of action.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Swansea