Newcastle United have won 11 of their last 17 encounters with Swansea City and would normally be expecting to win handsomely again on Saturday when the two meet at the Sports Direct Arena (15.00).
The Magpies though have suffered from serious injury problems of late but are hopeful of improving upon their woeful recent run – taking only one point from the last twelve on offer – as some of their “walking wounded” are ready to return.
Manager Alan Pardew is hoping that with Steven Taylor ruled out for the rest of the season ,following surgery on a ruptured Achilles, fellow defenders Mike Williamson and Fabricio Coloccini , who have also been sidelined in recent weeks may be fit to return to the fray. Williamson made his comeback after a long term ankle injury, for the Reserves, while captain Coloccini could be back in contention, if he passes a late fitness test, after a thigh problem.
“We haven’t acquired any new injuries, thank goodness, and we are just hopeful that we can bring maybe one or two back,” said Pardew
“Mike Williamson trained this week, and played in the Reserves the other day. We are pleased about that because he is a big asset to have back after the loss of Steven (Taylor).
“He offers height, experience and had a great season last year. Willo would like to build on that and we are looking forward to him doing that.”
The Magpies will though remain without Sylvain Marveaux (hip and groin) and Danny Guthrie (groin)- more bade news is that Dan Gosling starts a three-match ban following a straight red card at Carrow Road on their last outing.
Manager Pardew has yet to decide if to risk midfielder Cheick Tiote, who has missed the last six league games with a knee injury.
Pardew again: “Cheick’s injury is very much a structural injury, which we now think he is over. He is close” . But will Pardew risk him on Saturday?
The Swans meantime have yet to win on the road and are in mid table thanks to their impressive home form where they have notched up four wins and where their defence reigns supreme having kept six clean sheets. Much of that success is down to Dutch goalkeeper
Michael Vorm who has excelled throughout the campaign. They face an uphill task at the former St James’ Park and much may again depend on Vorm. They did come close against Wolves and also impressed away at Anfield in November.
Swansea welcome back Joe Allen after suspension whilst club captain Gary Monk and leading scorer Danny Graham are expected to be recalled to the side for this match. The involvement of the two Dutch international goalkeepers Vorm and Newcastle’s Tim Krul will be
fascinating. Which of the two will be first choice for Holland in Euro 2012 ? Newcastle’ s Krul is also in the best form of his career. Fascinating indeed.
Newcastle to win 2-0 with both goals from Demba Ba , as the Swans wait for that elusive first away win goes on.
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