Newcastle United will be aiming to beat Swansea City for the first time in seven meetings when they travel to South Wales for a game between two sides who were both involved in entertaining 2-2 draws on opening weekend.
While they were expected to cause Chelsea problems, few believed that Swansea would outplay the champions for long periods in a performance which suggested that they can continue to go from strength to strength after racking up an impressive haul of 56 points last term. Both goals conceded came with an element of misfortune as they looked assured throughout, keeping players such as Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas very quiet and limiting their effectiveness.
Bafetimbi Gomis looked a constant threat as the lone striker, while Andre Ayew had a superb debut, featuring in most of his side’s positive play. With so many dynamic, attack-minded players and an increasingly tight defence, Garry Monk’s team promise to be an even more difficult team to play against than in times gone by, so this represents a significant test for Steve McClaren in his first away match in charge of the visitors.
After seeing their team produce uninspiring football for much of last season, the Newcastle supporters were treated to an enthralling spectacle on Sunday as four goals were shared with Southampton. The introduction of a couple of new signings added to the intrigue, and the wingers were in the thick of the action as Gabriel Obertan and Moussa Sissoko both looked lively in front of a Head Coach who likes his sides to play with flair.
Georginio Wijnaldum made a fine impact on his debut, heading home to give the Magpies the lead after falling behind, and he was a key component in a high-intensity performance which was not quite enough to earn three points. The concession of two headed goals will have been a slight concern, and an area in which McClaren would have worked on in training over recent days. Neither side is likely to hold back here, so it could turn out to be a goal fest.
Swansea have doubts over the fitness of Ki Sung-Yueng who limped off during the first half at Chelsea. Should he not be passed fit, Jack Cork is set to take his place in central midfield.
The visitors are unable to call upon Remy Cabella, Paul Dummett and Emmanuel Riviere, but Vurnon Anita is expected to be available despite coming off injured against Southampton.