Things are going pretty well for Newcastle United at the moment. At least in terms of what is happening on the pitch anyway…
Four games played in November yielded four wins for the Magpies leaving us in an ideal place to have a bash at the top of the table for the moment.
Standing in the way of us extending that run are Swansea City who are having a mixed season so far by all accounts. Their participation in the Europe League is not doing them any favours and even though they are pretty much nailed on to qualify for the knockout phases their results following on from games in Europe haven’t exactly been great. Add to that some injuries to key players and you get the same kind of feeling of deja vu we had last season.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Alan Pardew ahead of the game. Ryan Taylor is the only casualty at the moment although Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sissoko need to be careful as both are one yellow card away from sitting out the trip to Manchester United at the weekend.
Michael Laudrup will be without the services of Wilfried Bony, Michu and Angel Rangel for the visit of Newcastle although Michael Vorm could be fit enough to replace Gerhard Tremmel between the sticks for the Swans.
Swansea managed to “do the double” last season recording wins both home and away against us for the first time since 1980.
However historically we’ve been the better side. Of 33 contests between the two sides United have come out on top on 19 occasions compared to just 10 victories for Swansea. At Swansea we’ve recorded nine victories compared to six for the Swans although if we look at recent encounters in the Premier League then Swansea come out on top having win two of the four fixtures with United winning just one.
Match stats and facts…
Sunday’s defeat by Manchester City was the sixth time in eight that Swansea have failed to win on the back of European competition in midweek.
Only Fulham and Crystal Palace have picked up fewer home points than Swansea this season.
Swansea have not lost this season when scoring first – picking up four wins and a draw. However they have failed to win any of the seven matches in which they conceded the opening goal.
Newcastle have taken the lead in nine of their 13 Premier League games this season, going on to win seven of them.
They talk about momentum and confidence accounting for a lot in football and Newcastle should have a load of both after a stunning and unexpected November. However Swansea are dangerous and whilst I can’t quite see the same sun shining out of Michael Laudrup’s arse that others can the fact is that they are still a decent side who should be higher that they are right now, Europa League or not.
I can’t call this one. In fact I stopped calling matches a long time ago. But what I will say is that I always fancy us to score a goal and if we can strike first we then give Swansea something to think about. This is one of those 100% matches where nothing else will do. If we can put in that effort then the result will probably follow providing Howard Webb refrains from being a pecker…
Howay the lads!
Date: Wednesday, 4th December, 2013
Venue: The Liberty Stadium