Swansea v Newcastle: Can Steve McClaren revisit April 2012?
Swansea v Newcastle
Saturday 15 August 3pm
Steve McClaren has said this will be a far bigger mountain to climb than Southampton at home and looking at Newcastle’s past record against Swansea, you won’t get much encouragement.
Since the Swans arrived in the Premier League there have been eight Premier League meetings, with United winning only one.
That was in the 2011/12 season as despite the home team dominating possession, United ran riot on the counter-attack with an attacking trio of Ba, Cisse and Ben Arfa causing all sorts of problems. With playermaker Yohan Cabaye also in the starting eleven pulling the strings back in April 2012.
Can Newcastle repeat the dose and make up for the five defeats and two draws from the other seven fixtures between the two teams?
Well, when it comes to team selection, the Newcastle fans are hoping for a similarly attacking line up judging by the eleven they picked using our NUFC team selector – the fans choice of team can be seen HERE. With supporters going for a front pairing of Cisse and Mitrovic and Wijnaldum & Aarons in support.
The reality though sees most fans expecting a repeat of Steve McClaren’s side against Southampton, retaining Vurnon Anita and Jack Colback as holding midfielders and Gabriel Obertan to help cover his full-back, as well as getting forward.
Personally, I would love to see McClaren throw in Rolando Aarons instead of Obertan and get Swansea on the back foot, rather than be overly worrying about what the opposition might do.
I hate to say it but I think that whatever team goes out on the pitch, I can’t see Newcastle keeping a clean sheet with our defence, so attack is definitely the best form of defence today.
For the opposition it is a case of what might have been for Newcastle United.
The Swans pulled off an impressive draw at Chelsea thanks to goals from Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre Ayew, two ‘free’ transfers that United chased for so long but wouldn’t pay the wages for.
Also in last Saturday’s starting eleven, Swansea included Shelvey, Williams, Taylor and Sigurdsson – four other players linked with moves to Tyneside over the course of the last few seasons.
Whatever side Garry Monk picks, there will be no surprise at how the home side play, with their playing philosophy working a treat as they keep to the same strategy even if they change manager.
At times they have overplayed the possession angle but under Monk, they seem to have refined it and added more penetration as an end product.
Last season’s eighth place finish is further evidence of progress made, with Swansea finishing fully 17 points ahead of Newcastle.
On the injury front, Ki Sung-Yeung is the only doubt with a hamstring problem for the home team, whilst Newcastle will be missing Riviere, Dummett and Cabella.
Vurnon Anita returned to training on Wednesday after being stretchered off against Southampton so Steve McClaren should have plenty options to choose from.
Very difficult to forecast the result but here’s hoping for a similarly open game of attacking football as we saw on Sunday, though maybe not quite as open at the back for Steve McClaren’s blood pressure…
See all the Newcastle v Swansea match betting HERE
To place a bet and/or to see odds for Top Premier League Scorer 2015/16 go HERE
For betting on who will be Newcastle’s top PL goalscorer go HERE, Cisse is the new 9/4 favourite in that list.
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