Newcastle United v Swansea City preview: Tammy Abraham a major doubt for Swans
Last Updated: 13/01/18 1:47pm
Newcastle United will be looking to give their home fans some much-needed cheer when they host Swansea City on Saturday afternoon.
Rafa Bentiez's side have lost five of their last six Premier League fixtures at St James' Park, but do come into the game on the back of two wins against Stoke City and Luton Town in the FA Cup third-round last weekend. Although sitting in 13th place in the Premier League, Newcastle are only two points above the drop zone.
The Toon did win the previous meeting 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium in September courtesy of a Jamal Lascelles second-half header.
Meanwhile, Swansea's win at Watford in their last Premier League away game ended a run of seven straight defeats on the road - they last won back-to-back away games in the competition in January 2017 against Crystal Palace and Liverpool.
Newcastle duo Rob Elliot (thigh) and Chancel Mbemba (knee) are both fit to feature after injury. However, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Florian Lejeune and Jesus Gamez are still sidelined.
Swansea have doubts over Tammy Abraham (hip) and Renato Sanches (hamstring) for the trip to Newcastle.
Midfielders Ki Sung-yueng and Leon Britton have rejoined the squad after calf injuries.
Academy product Connor Roberts could make his Premier League debut, with Kyle Naughton completing a three-game ban and Angel Rangel sidelined by a calf strain.
The Magpies have won their last two Premier League games against Swansea, having won just one of their first nine against them in the competition (W1 D2 L6).
The Swans have won three of their five Premier League visits to St James' Park (D1 L1) - at no away ground have they won more in the competition (also three at the Emirates, Selhurst Park, Villa Park and Craven Cottage).
Newcastle have not done the league 'double' over Swansea since the 1983-84 Second Division campaign - a season that saw them promoted to the top-flight, and Swansea relegated to the third tier.
Newcastle have won seven points from their last 12 available in the Premier League (W2 D1 L1), after a run that saw them pick up just one point from a possible 27 (W0 D1 L8).
Again, this is another game that's hard to call. Swansea were great at Watford and unfortunate at home to Spurs in the last fortnight. Newcastle have to take advantage of home games though. If they don't win this they will be in big trouble, so this is a game they will have highlighted as a must-win. I think they will just get the job done with a cagey victory.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-0 (9/2 with Sky Bet)