Newcastle United v Swansea – Match Preview
Newcastle United v Swansea
17 November 3pm
You have to go back seven months to 21 April to find the last time Newcastle kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday at St.James’ Park in the Premier League.
Hopefully that will prove a good omen because on that day United turned in one of their best performances of the season as they completed the double over anti-football Stoke City, a club who Newcastle had found a difficult challenge in previous encounters.
That day we saw two goals from Yohan Cabaye and to cap his performance off, a sublime pass from the French midfielder and an equally good finish. Almost certainly the best team goal of all last season.
The chances of a repeat of that link-up appear to be remote and not just because neither player has reached the heights of last season.
The manager has stated that Cabaye will be missing and I’m not one to doubt our manager but…he has attempted to wrongfoot the opposition with the misleading fitness update.
Whether Papiss Cisse is on the pitch could be out of United’s hands as Senegal were claiming Newcastle hadn’t kept them informed about the striker’s fitness and lack of availability for their midweek friendly. There doesn’t appear to have been any update since the initial story claiming Senegal could block the player playing today but even without that, there is still the question mark over Cisse’s back problem that he picked up against West Ham and indeed whether the manager would even pick him after last week’s less than perfect performance.
Today’s visitors have made a steady start and Laudrup seems to have done a decent job in what is often a dodgy second season for promoted sides.
On their travels, Swansea have won one, drawn one and lost three – in the process scoring six and conceding the same.
Our lot have scored six and conceded seven at home, it isn’t hard to see what both teams are struggling to do.
It will be interesting to see how Alan Pardew sets out his team against an opposition who aren’t going to be committing too many men forward.
Regardless of whether Cisse will be available, I know there are more than a few people who would like to see Hatem Ben Arfa be given a free role inside, relieving him of using energy chasing back that could be better employed in the other direction.
Whatever team selection is made, the manager will be relying hugely on the returning Cheick Tiote to stamp his authority, in the best possible way, on the match.
This could give the likes of Ba and Ben Arfa the platform to win the match, which maybe has been missing in recent matches.
To round it off, I fancy Newcastle to go at it from the start and get that early goal that has been lacking in most matches this season. Check out the top tips below;
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]