Newcastle must capitalise on Swansea success

Posted by Marc Duffy

Papiss Cisse was forced to sit out Newcastle's Premier League defeat against SwanseaGettyImagesPapiss Cisse scored a double in this fixture last season and could be critical to continuing Newcastle's good form

There has been quite a lot of talk over the past week about how Swansea's Capital One Cup win last weekend might affect the rest of their season. The most commonly held view seems to be that teams who win the cup drift through the remaining couple of months of the season with indifference. Looking back over the last ten League Cup winners, this isn't always the case at all, although there is a small crumb of comfort for Newcastle as they head to the Liberty Stadium to face the Swans this weekend.

Below are the results of the subsequent league games that League Cup winners played after they lifted the trophy at Wembley over the past ten years. Of the ten games, the cup winners have won six of them. However, these wins have always been for a team still in the hunt for something in the league, be it the title or a spot in the Champions League. The others have lost.

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2
Birmingham 1 West Brom 3
Wolves 0 Manchester United 1
Newcastle 1 Manchester United 2
Birmingham 4 Spurs 1
Watford 0 Chelsea 1
Wigan 1 Manchester United 2
Norwich 1 Chelsea 3
Birmingham 3 Middlesbrough 1
Liverpool 2 Bolton 0

Swansea are secure in the league and have now guaranteed themselves a place in Europe next season. So what is there to motivate them now? Newcastle on the other hand still have work to do in order to pull further away from the chasing, relegation-threatened pack.

In terms of recent league form, Newcastle have a slight edge judging by Swansea's form over the last five Premier League games (LWLDW).

They've taken seven points from five games. Their losses came with a weakened team at Anfield and to West Ham away. Their last home defeat was on December 8th to Norwich. Swansea have lost only two home games all season.

Nine points from five games (WLWWL) is Newcastle's best run of form this season, though they have only the one league away win this season (against Aston Villa).

Neil Taylor and Chico Flores will be Swansea's only two absentees whilst Newcastle are still suffering from injuries to key players - the scourge of their season.

Newcastle won this fixture last year 2-0 with a double for Papiss Cisse. Then-Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers bemoaned that his side had 68% possession yet lost. Newcastle had 100% of the goals, the only stat that really counts! Only five Newcastle players who started that day are likely to do so on Saturday. (Davide Santon, Yohan Cabaye, Jonas Gutierrez, Cheick Tiote and Papiss Cisse)

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has proven himself to be a major upgrade on Rodgers, though.

In summary

This is a tough one to call. The good thing for Newcastle now is that even with injuries to key players, they have alternatives. Newcastle have more to play for than Swansea here and their away form has improved dramatically of late - the win at Aston Villa was followed up by a good performance in the loss at Spurs and most recently they won 1-0 away in Ukraine against Metalist.

I wouldn't be surprised if this one ended in a draw, though my predictions are usually miles off the mark!

Twitter: @MarcSDuffy

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