Premier League: Swansea host Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium
Swansea City return to Premier League action as they host a resurgent Newcastle side pushing for a top-half finish.
Last Updated: 01/03/13 12:20pm
Alan Pardew has a number of injuries for the trip to South Wales. Goalkeeper Tim Krul will again be missing after an ankle injury sustained against Metalist Kharkiv will keep him out of action for five weeks. Rob Elliot made his Premier League debut in last week's 4-2 win over Southampton, and will again deputise.
In addition, captain Fabricio Coloccini faces a race to be fit after hurting his back in last weekend's game. If he fails to recover then new signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa looks set to take his place.
Michael Laudrup's side won their first major trophy last Sunday, brushing aside League Two Bradford City 5-0 in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley and, with Premier League survival ensured, will aim to push towards a top-six place.
Swansea finished 11th last season, and Laudrup has targeted a top-half finish, so he will want to guard against any complacency after their trophy win.
However, with January signings invoking an upturn in form, Newcastle once again look a dangerous prospect on the road.
The Magpies have taken nine points from a possible 12 as they have moved six points clear of the relegation zone.
Their fans are now looking up rather than down, and a victory would take Newcastle to within four points of their opponents.
One Swansea tactic has also been confirmed this week - Jonathan de Guzman has been chosen as the club's first-choice penalty taker after the rather unseemly debate between the Dutchman and Nathan Dyer during the Capital One Cup final last Sunday.Michael Laudrup is set to return Ki Sung-yueng to his regular midfield role for the meeting with Newcastle.
The Korean played at centre-half in the Capital One Cup final win over Bradford, but Kyle Bartley or Garry Monk will partner Ashley Williams against the Magpies.
Michel Vorm is likely to return in goal if he can shake off the flu while Neil Taylor is getting closer to a return from a broken ankle.
Newcastle could be without captain Fabricio Coloccini after the Argentinian hurt his back during Sunday's 4-2 win over Southampton.
He is struggling to be fit, so January signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa could take over at the back.
Goalkeeper Rob Elliot will continue to deputise for Tim Krul, who is expected to be sidelined for up to five weeks by the ankle injury he suffered at Metalist Kharkiv, while winger Hatem Ben Arfa may travel despite being short of match fitness.