Date: Sunday, 17th November.
Kick off: 3:00pm
Referee: Phil Dowd.
UK TV: None.
St James’ Park will be honoured to receive football royalty to St James’ Park as the greatest footballer of the 1990s, and indeed one of the greatest ever, Michael Laudrup, brings his Swansea City side to St James’ Park.
Unlike last week, this game should see an intriguing contrast of styles, as the elegant, flowing Swans are pitted against Pardew’s ugly ducklings, who are currently the Premiership’s biggest “route one” side.
St James’ Park welcomed back two old faces in our last game, Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll, with the former scoring the winning goal against us. This time it is the turn of Wayne Routledge, who, like Nolan, has flourished since he was thrown out on his ear and declared not good enough for Noocarrssell by our Silver Supremo back in January, 2011. However, under the expert guidance of the playmaker supreme, he has provided six assists for Swansea so far this season, as well as a couple of goals. His four Premiership assists so far are as many as Ben Arfa (2), Cabaye (1), Gutiérrez (0), Shola (0) and Demba Ba (1), not to mention his replacement, Gabriel Obertan (0) have managed collectively. So, like Nolan, he might well be a danger for us alongside his current partner in goalscoring crime, the £2 million bargain of the season and Swansea’s top hitman so far with six goals, Michu.
Once again like the West Ham game, this should be a clash of two fairly evenly matched teams in terms of form so far this season. West Ham were the team who were one place above us until they won and elevated themselves to sixth in the table. This week, we meet the side who are currently one place and one point below us. So let’s take a looK!
|Premiership form this season (most recent first)|
|10th||Newcastle United|||L|D|W|D|L|D|W|D|D|L|W|||14 pts|
|11th||Swansea City|||D|D|L|W|D|L|L|L|D|W|W|||13 pts|
As you can see above, after a great start with a 5-0 drubbing of Q.P.R. and a very convincing 3-0 victory over West Ham after that, Swansea then fell into something of a slump after their third game, a very creditable 2-2 draw against Blunderland. After a three gane losing streak against Aston villa, Everton and Stoke, they picked themselves up again with a draw aginst Reading and a 2-1 win over Wigan, then a narrow 1-0 defeat to moneybags Man City. After knocking holders, Liverpool, out of the League Cup, their Premiership campaign continued with a very creditable 1-1 draw against Chelsea, followed by another 1-1 draw against Southampton, which brings us up to date.
Previous results against Swansea at SJP.
There aren’t really very many of these in recent times, just two this century! Of course, the two sides have moved in different circles until recent years. Our first league meeting of the Millenium came after Newcastle being relegated to the Championship in 2009, with Swansea eventually being promoted to the Premiership the year after us for the 2011/12 season. Below are the results of our two meetings at St James, with one in the Championship when the Swans were managed by Paolo Sosa, and more latterly, the one from last season under Brendan Rodgers.
2011/12: (Premiership) Newcastle United 0, Swansea 0.
2009/10: (Championship) Newcastle United 3 (Harewood 2, Lovenkrands), Swansea City 0.
Team news and squads.
Both teams have their fair share of injuries at the moment. Whilst Newcastle have more with no fewer than seven definitely out of contention, both sides will be missing some key players. Not least amongst those will be Ki, Sung-Yong, a reliable Korean runabout with a good engine who has started to justify his £6 million fee after acclimatising himself to life in the Premiership. Also, Tim Krul’s great Dutch International rival, Michel Vorm will also definitely be out for the visitors.
On the Magpie side, Fabricio Coloccini will serve out the second of his three match suspension for his straight sending off against Liverpool. One unusual situation is with Papiss Cisse, who is fit to play after the club withdrew him from a friendly between Senegal and Niger with an alleged back problem. Though Pardew has been insisting that the club informed the Senegalese F.A. that the player was unable to play, sending scans and everyting, on the other side, the Senegalese are also insiting that they received no such thing. Hence, they have threatened to invoke FIFA’s “five day” rule, which would ban the player from appearing for five days after he missed call up if it was decided that he was absent without a good reason, which would encompass this afternoon’s game. Meanwhile, Demba Ba was also withdrawn from the same game with a shin problem though he too is now fit to play. However, the Senegalese national side don’t seem to have a problem with that one. On another positive note, Cheick Tioté has now served out his three match Premiership ban, and will now be available for selection once again.
Newcastle United: Tim Krul (G), Steve Harper (G), Danny Simpson (D), Mike Williamson (D), Steven Taylor (D), Davide Santon (D), James Tavernier (D), Vurnon Anita (M, D), Shane Ferguson (M, D), Cheick Tioté (M), Gabriel Obertan (M), Sylvain Marveaux (M), Romain Amalfitano (M), Mehdi Abeid (M), Gael Bigirimana (M), Hatem Ben Arfa (M, F), Sammy Ameobi (M, F), Papiss Cisse (F), Demba Ba (F), Shola Ameobi (F).
Injured: Yohan Cabaye (stomach), Jonas Gutiérrez (knee), Rob Elliot (groin), James Perch (thigh), Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Dan Gosling (all knee),
Doubtful: Papiss Cisse (FIFA International “five day” rule dispute)
Suspended: Fabricio Coloccini (second of three).
Swansea City: Gerhard Tremmel (G), David Cornell (G), Ben Davies (D), Chico Flores (D), Ashley Williams (D), Angel Rangel (D), Alan Tate (D), Garry Monk (D), Dwight Tiendalli (D), Darnel Situ (D), Jonathan de Guzmán (M), Kemy Agustien (M), Leon Britton (M), Nathan Dyer (M), Mark Gower (M), Ashley Richards (M), Lee Lucas (M), Wayne Routladge (M, F), Pablo Hernández (M, F), Michu (M, F), Danny Graham (F), Leroy Lita (F), Luke Moore (F), Itay Shechter (F), Rory Donnelly (F).
Injured: Ki Sung-Yueng (hamstring), Kyle Bartley (thigh), Michel Vorm (groin), Neil Taylor (ankle).
Doubtful: Agustien (toe), Britton (knock), Flores (dead leg), Hernández (ankle)
Tactics, formations etc.
Formation wise, Swansea are usually defined as a 4-3-3, but to me it seems as if they can be very fluid, seemingly moving between something more like a 4-2-3-1 cum 4-4-1-1, depending on what the winger are up to. They could Michu in the centre of attack, flanked by Routledge and the Spanish international, Pablo Hernández, either that or he will be a very offensive midfielder (in the nicest possible way) just behind another striker. Another big player for the Swans, Jonathan de Guzmán will also probably drop in behind Michu in the centre of midfield, or alongside if Michu is working behind another striker, we shall see. However it pans out though, collectively, those players might be a big handful.
Forget the Brendan Rodgers style sterile tippy tappy in their own half. Laudrup was, and is, the quintessence of the passing game. However unlike Rodgers the pretender, Laudrup is the real thing. He has no time for possession merely for it’s own sake, it must be going somewhere, ie forward, and even if it leaves them more vulnerable at the back, we will almost certainly see a more attacking edge, and more chances falling to the Swans this time around.
Unless our Silver Supremo has undergone some kind of Damascene conversion since our last performance, we will probably start with a 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1 playing very deep, looking to dispossess opposition attackers and strike out on the break, too often by lumping big balls over the top of a huge chasm between the defence and the attack, then change when it doesn’t work out. If this is the case, let’s hope that the quality of players helps to bring us through our rather blunt tactics, as has often been the case in the past.
Finally, to remind all you Geordies out there who may have forgotten by now how football should be played, I am including a few videos below of Laudrup the great master when he was in his prime for teams such as Juventus, the original Barcelona “Dream Team” under Johan Cruyff, and Real Madrid.
Michael Laudrup – Four Dimensional Football.
Michael Laudrup – The Greatest Playmaker.
Michael Laudrup Dribble & Skill Compilation.