The FourFourTwo Preview: Swansea vs Newcastle
Chirpy Magpies steal points from tired Swans. Perhaps.
When you've got six games scheduled in 18 days, you want to be in good form. Swansea aren't: they've only won once in eight matches, and have lost their last two games to nil. Injuries to strikers Wilfried Bony and Michu haven't helped, and neither has a Europa League group going to the wire.
- Man City 3-0 Swansea (Prem)
- Swansea 0-1 Valencia (EL)
- Fulham 1-2 Swansea (Prem)
- Swansea 3-3 Stoke (Prem)
- K Krasnodar 1-1 Swansea (Prem)
- Newcastle 2-1 West Brom (Prem)
- Newcastle 2-1 Norwich (Prem)
- Tottenham 0-1 Newcastle (Prem)
- Newcastle 2-0 Chelsea (Prem)
- Newcastle 0-2 Man City (LC)
Newcastle know all about the Eurozone problem, having struggled with it last season – and benefited from its absence this campaign. They're bang in form with four wins on the belt and might quite fancy making that five ahead of Saturday lunchtime's trip to Old Trafford.
If they are to succeed, it might have something to do with Loic Remy, who has scored eight in nine. And if he scores early, it might be enough, as the first goal tends to be in Swansea games: in the league, Michael Laudrup's side have neither lost when scoring first (winning four of the five), nor won any of the seven in which they've conceded first.
Swansea could recall goalkeeper Michel Vorm, fit enough only for bench duty of late, but desperately miss Bony and Michu, not to mention passtastic right-back Angel Rangel.
Newcastle seem shipshape, with the possible addition of the non-longer-hamstrung Geordie defender Paul Dummett – the only non-Frenchman to score for the Toon since Mirandinha or thereabouts.
Player to watch: Shola Ameobi (Newcastle)
The Magpies have a 71% win rate with Ameobi (44% without), whose partnership with Remy is provoking talk of The Return of 4-4-2.
Against West Brom the big Geordie was certainly a target man, contesting 22 aerial duels – but linking up well with team-mates on the deck, completing 26 passes and creating three chances. As Jamie Carragher put it, "Shola is not just playing straight up front, he's getting between the lines in the No.10 role."
LAST FIVE MEETINGS
- Swans 1-0 N'castle (Prem, Mar 13)
- N'castle 1-2 Swans (Prem, Nov 12)
- Swans 0-2 N'castle (Prem, Apr 12)
- N'castle 0-0 Swans (Prem, Dec 11)
- Swans 1-1 N'castle (Ch, Feb 10)
Alan Pardew loved Michael Laudrup as a player ("Fantastic - one of my favourites") and empathises with the Europa-schedule stutters this season ("I do think that the format has to change"). He can't have been happy with losing both games to him last season, though.
Facts and figures
- Of Newcastle’s 19 Premier League goals this season, 18 have been scored by Frenchmen.
More facts at FFT's Swansea vs Newcastle Stats Zone page
Tips and trends
TIPS & TRENDS
Sponsored by BetButler.co.uk
- There have been three or more goals scored in seven of Swansea’s last 10 home matches.
- After their Capital One Cup success in February they played Newcastle at home, winning 1-0. Since that match they have only won once in 11 home fixtures.
- Newcastle are on their best run of form since April 2012, having won their last four league fixtures.
- Only Olivier Giroud has opened the scoring more times than Loic Remy this season (4).
- Newcastle have had more than 2.5 goals in 14 of their previous 19 away fixtures.
Find the best odds with Bet Butler
Calamity rarely strays far from Newcastle but Swansea are struggling without their main men. 2-1 to the Toon.