Newcastle v Swansea City
Saturday, Jan 13 – 15:00pm
Newcastle head into tomorrow’s match fresh off the back of two emphatic wins against Luton Town and Stoke City. Following a difficult December that saw the Magpies lose five of their seven league matches, Rafa Benitez’s side will be hoping to turn a page in 2018. The Spaniard admitted last week that he is still unaware of his budget for the January transfer window, and with Newcastle just two points above the relegation zone, a lack of investment could be hugely detrimental to their chances of remaining in the top-flight. The Magpies currently sit 13th on the leaderboard, taking 22 points from their 22 matches this season.
Swansea have plenty of worries of their own at the moment. After losing 2-0 to Tottenham in the league, the Swans could only manage to hold Championship side Wolves to a 0-0 draw in the FA Cup, and anyone watching the match would have struggled to spot which club was in the top-flight. Carlos Carvalhal’s side managed to win two of their seven matches in December, giving the Swans something of a lifeline heading into the new year. They will have to improve considerably if they are to avoid relegation however. 16 points from 22 matches is nowhere near good enough.
What the stats tell us:
- Newcastle have won each of their last two matches with Swansea in the Premier League, after winning just one of their first meetings in the top-flight.
- Swansea have won three of their last five games at St James’ Park in the Premier League (D1 L1) – claiming more victories in Newcastle than at any other ground.
- The last time Newcastle beat Swansea twice in a single season was back in 1983/84 in the Second Division. The Magpies were promoted that year, while Swansea dropped to the third tier.
- Newcastle have taken seven of a possible 12 points from their last four games in the Premier League (W2 D1 L1).
- Swansea beat Watford in their last away match in the Premier League, ending a run of seven consecutive defeats away from home.
- Rafa Benitez has lost six games at home in the Premier League this season, accounting for 38% of his total home defeats in the competition.
- The last time the Magpies kept three successive clean sheets in the Premier League was back in November 2014.
- Jamaal Lascelles has found the back of the net in both of his matches against Swansea in the Premier League – including a winner in the reverse fixture this season.
- Tammy Abraham has failed to net in his last 12 Premier League matches for the Swans – prior to this run, Abraham accounted for 80% of their overall goals in the competition.
Newcastle have improved considerably over the last fews weeks, and their defenders have been particularly impressive. If they are to survive the drop this season, the Magpies will view this as a must win game, and Rafa Benitez will expect a dominant performance from his side. Swansea’s away win at Watford will have given them a boost, but it will take Carlos Carvalhal more than a handful of matches to get the best out of his players. Newcastle should have no problem taking all three points.