This week however I need not wait so long, for Swansea are gracing the biggest footballing stage this Friday when they take on Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium.
With that Friday feeling (© Cadbury Crunchie 1980...), this match is set to be an exciting game between two teams that have proved a lot this season. Swansea have proved they are no longer just Championship material, and Newcastle have shrugged off mid-table predictions and are level on points with Chelsea and pushing for a Champions League place next season.
Both will want to, again, prove critics wrong this weekend.
With three games in eight days, Brendan Rodgers may choose to rest a few players, knowing Swansea are more likely to get something more from QPR (Wednesday) and Blackburn (next Saturday) than Newcastle, though I'd be surprised if Steven Caulker didn't start after missing last week against Spurs.
I predict Nathan Dyer will start this one to give Wayne Routledge a rest, though an interesting move would be to leave Scott Sinclair on the bench and start Routledge and Dyer together. Sinclair is more in need of some relaxing bench time than Routledge and it may do his wavy form some good.
Swansea are coming off two defeats in two games they were actually expected to get little out of, so while confidence won't be that low, they'll want to avoid three losses in a row, especially at home. Out to stop the Swans picking up that precious 40th point this season, is Newcastle; a team Swansea haven't beat since 1980.
As I have done for the past few weeks, I've asked an opposition blogger in the know to fill us in on their team, their opinions of Swansea and their vital score prediction! Take it away John from Coming Home Newcastle (a great Toon fan blog at SBNation.com)
I'd love to say that, coming off an impressive three-game winning streak, I'm full of confidence heading across the border into Liberty Stadium on Friday morning, but, unfortunately, this has all the makings of a "trap game" for Newcastle.
That being said, I do believe that Newcastle are the stronger side, and we're riding a hot streak where Swansea appear to be hitting a skid (thus, the "trap"). Newcastle's attack has come alive recently behind Alan Pardew's implementation of the 4-3-3, outscoring opponents 5-1 in those two games, with Papiss Cisse netting four on his own.
Hatem Ben Arfa finally seems to have found a spot from which he can be effective, and even though the back line has been decimated with the injuries of Steven Taylor and captain Fabricio Colocinni, James Perch and Mike Williamson have been stout in their stead. Overall, Newcastle has looked sharp, on point, and deadly in the attack in recent weeks.
If Swansea were to attack a weakness, I believe it'd be most effective for them to hammer the middle early and see if we'll give, and if we don't, then use the speed and experience on the wings to drive the attack. With the 4-3-3, we've had to play far more compact than usual. Sinclair, Dyer, and Newcastle old boy Wayne Routledge could have monster games on the flank. I'm not ashamed to admit that Newcastle will have their hands completely full with Nathan Dyer.
All that said, I still think we'll leave Wales with three points after a barn burner: 3-2 NUFC.
So, some positive stuff from John, but he is wary of the threat that Swansea present.
In the meeting at St James Park back in December, Swansea held the home side to a 0-0 draw, but I feel there'll be goals this time around.
With the bookies, Swansea are favourites at 7/5 on PaddyPower. I'm going with a 1-1 draw (at 5/1), which wouldn't be a bad result for Swansea all things considered. Saying that, it's a home game and the East Stand will surely have sunk eight pints of lager each, so the noise levels will be immense, which could encourage Swans to get that extra one. 2-1 to Swansea is at 15/2. John's prediction of 3-2 to Newcastle is at 30/1.
So let's hope all Swans fans will end Friday night drinking themselves into a frenzy in celebration at Premier League safety!
3-1 to the toon, ba back on the score sheet, i think swansea will come at us and leave themselves open to some blistering countering attacking pace of ben arfa ,ba and cisse,ReplyDelete
Dutch bloke from The Hague Holland, like your blog! No matter what...proud of the Swans-squad!ReplyDelete
What a season!
Many thanks for the comment 'Dutch bloke' - it has been a great season, helped along by plenty of Dutch talent at the club!Delete
Good Blog Mate iI think its going to be a 3-2 but its a 50/50 who are going to win. But hopefully We play well and get the three points against a hard team to beat :DReplyDelete
Thanks Joey - 3-2 could be worth covering at 30/1 - if Newcastle win at least you'll get a few quid back to soften the blow (that's my plan anyway!)Delete
Should be a cracker - two good teams.ReplyDelete
Well done Swansea this Season - your team has won a lot of admirers
Cheers for the comment - both teams are doing brilliantly considering we were playing each other in the Championship two years ago.Delete
I anticipate a good one tomorrow with a few goals!
Thanks a bunch for collaborating with us. I respect Swans quite a bit and the way they play, and you've got a blog worthy of the team. Good luck!ReplyDelete