Swansea City Away Preview 17/18

Long Trip To South Wales For Magpies

After the usual transfer deadline disappointment and the awfully boring international break it is finally back to the football tomorrow as Newcastle make the long trip South to Wales to face Swansea looking to get off the mark on the road and follow up what was a good first win against West Ham.

Yes, I think we all know that once again we probably havent done what we needed in the transfer market but that has now gone and obviously there is nothing we can do about that until January at the earliest - everyone from the fans to the manager to the players now needs to concentrate on what we can control and that is results and performances on the pitch.

There may not be the natural quality in this squad compared to years gone by but I think there is a lot more grit and determination in there than in previous squads and as we all know that can sometimes get you further than simply having a talented squad.

Notoriously we struggle on the road, certainly in the Premier League so im guessing the general consensus will be that this is probably going to be a tough one but we should be confident after getting that first win and lets be honest these are the games we need to be looking to pick up points in because you would think the likes of Swansea are likely to be in and around us this season.

They are certainly no great shakes as a side and stuggled majorly last season and have since lost their key man in Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Yes they will probably be boosted by their deadline day business where I think bringing Bony back was a good bit of business and of course they pulled of the seemingly decent coup of Renato Sanchez in on loan from Bayern Munich but they have had a similar mixed start to the campaign as we have so whilst it will be tough I certainly dont think its unrealistic to be looking at getting something out of this one.

We will certainly have to play better than we did last time on the road at Huddersfield though and we could be hindered slightly if Rafa Benitez cant make it following his stint in hospital this week but I am sure his staff will have us well prepared in his absence and I am sure he has still made his views known.

Selection wise there was obviously sadly an injury to Mbemba in the international break so the problematic left back spot is up for grabs again.

People seem to have been making quite an issue out of the fact we didnt bring in another left back which I do think we needed but with the way people are talking you would think we had no other sensible options there whatsoever which clearly isnt the case.

As well as Mbemba has done there I think he was actually a bit of a strange choice and I would like to see Haidara given a game if he is fit because he is a natural left back and whilst still on our books we should be using him if we need to. Other than him Colback could obviously fill in there or the likes of Manquillo or Gamez could play there which could be facilitated more if Yedlin is back available.

Lejeune could also be available again and I think if he is then we could see Clark fill in at left back with the Frenchman coming back in alongside Lascelles which I wouldnt be totally adverse to but I suppose a lot comes down to the fitness of Lejeune and Yedlin as to what we decide to do.

I just think if you have a player natural to the position you should play him which is why I would go with Haidara although I think Rafa will see him as very much a last resort kind of option.

Other than that I cant see too much chopping and changing but obviously Jonjo Shelvey is available again after his suspension and I am sure he will be chomping at the bit to play again especially against his former club.

Its a tough one really as Hayden has started the season well and Merino played well against West Ham but Shelvey does offer that bit of quality that can create you something.

Im not too sure what we will do with this one really. I think there may be a temptation from Rafa to keep him waiting after what was a silly suspension but at the same time I think he is a big favourite of the manager with his range of passing etc.

I wouldnt be adverse to maybe playing all 3 with maybe Shelvey or Merino playing advanced of the other 2 and maybe Perez dropping out but I think that is unlikely.

I think the only other decision to make is up top - again Joselu did well last game but if fit I would maybe go with Gayle in this one where his pace will be more useful on the counter attack.

I just hope we show a bit more passion and desire than at Huddersfield which was a real disappointment for me - it was a nothing game really where I dont think either side particularly played well or deserved to win but they simply wanted it more.

Our fans deserve better than what they got at Huddersfield especially those that are trevelling to Wales tomorrow for a ridiculous kick off time on a Sunday considering the distance between the clubs - lets hope the lads can reward us all.

Another positive result and people may just be happy to put the disappointment of the transfer window behind us, a negative result and the pressure will be ramped right back up.

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