Newcastle United-Swansea City Preview

JEFF FLETCHER (STATS European Editor)
The Associated Press

Swansea City will be looking to improve their modest home record as they entertain in-form Newcastle United on Wednesday evening.

Michael Laudrup's side have not given their supporters much to shout about at the Liberty Stadium this season, winning just one of their six league matches played in south Wales. They were also beaten 1-0 at home by Spanish club Valencia in a Europa League match last Thursday.

The Swans (4-3-6) lost 3-0 at Manchester City on Saturday and have slipped down to 13th place with 15 points - claiming just two wins from their last eight matches in the Premier League.

Midfielder Jonathan de Guzman felt Swansea played well at the Etihad Stadium but failed to take their goal-scoring chances. However, the Dutch international admits the Swans need points from matches at the Liberty against Newcastle and Hull.

"It was a disappointing afternoon," de Guzman told his club's website. "We started off very slow and they got their goal, but we picked up from there and had a very good first half.

"Newcastle have been doing very well and they have a strong squad. But we are at home and we have to make that count. We want to be higher up the table and this is an opportunity for us to do that. But they will be two very difficult games. Newcastle are on a roll and Hull had that excellent 3-1 win over Liverpool recently, so we will have to raise our game."

Newcastle (7-2-4) have rocketed up into the top six after winning their last four Premier League matches.

The Magpies beat West Bromwich 2-1 at St James' Park on Saturday with Moussa Sissoko scoring a superb winner from 25 yards. Yoan Gouffran opened the scoring for Newcastle in the first half before Chris Brunt equalised for the visitors.

French midfielder Sissoko believes Newcastle's team spirit has been the key to their recent success.

"Goals, when they come along, are always welcome, or the odd assist if I can get them in as well," said Sissoko. "But the most important thing is the win. It doesn't matter who scores. As a team, we win together, we lose together.

"If we score a goal, it's always a goal together. We all have the same objectives we are working towards. We have got a difficult match away at Swansea on Wednesday, but we will go there full of confidence and hopefully come away with three points."

Swansea will be without striker Wilfried Bony (hamstring), while defender Angel Rangel (calf) and forward Michu (ankle) are unlikely to feature.

Defender Ryan Taylor is Newcastle's only absentee due to a long-term knee injury, otherwise manager Alan Pardew has a fully-fit squad.

Swansea did the double over Newcastle last season. They won 2-1 at St James' Park in November with strikes from de Guzman and Michu. Demba Ba scored a stoppage-time consolation for the Magpies. Luke Moore's late goal then earned the Swans a 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium in March.

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