Preview: Newcastle United vs. Swansea City

Sports Mole previews the Premier League clash between Newcastle, who have lost their last four, and Swansea, who are winless in 11 away games, at St James' Park.

Two managers fighting for their futures meet in the Premier League on Saturday as Alan Pardew's Newcastle United entertain Garry Monk's Swansea City.

Pardew's job is seemingly in jeopardy following four successive defeats during the touchline ban handed to him for headbutting Hull City's David Meyler, an indiscretion which weakens his position further.

There is talk of the club going in a new direction in the summer, with supporters frustrated by several underwhelming transfer windows in which they have failed to replace Yohan Cabaye and Demba Ba.

In fact, a poll conducted by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle found that 86% of Magpies fans were in favour of axing Pardew, who was appointed in 2010, at the end of the season.

On the other hand, Swans interim boss Monk seems to have the backing of the Liberty Stadium faithful and players, but must convince the club's board that he is the man to take them forward permanently.

The 34-year-old has won only two out of the 10 top-flight games that he has been in charge of, with the latest of five defeats coming in the form of a 1-0 home loss to title-chasing Chelsea last weekend.

Chico Flores was sent off in Wales and is therefore unavailable for the trip to Tyneside, so his compatriot Jordi Amat shall deputise at centre-back, with Kyle Bartley still sidelined through injury.

Another of Swansea's Spanish contingent, Michu, is a doubt having missed the match against the Blues as a precautionary measure following his recent return from ankle surgery which cost him three months.

Jonathan de Guzman is in contention for a recall in midfield as the Swans attempt to extend the alarming three-point gap between them and a bottom three that has caught up with them this week.

Pardew, who has two games of his suspension remaining, may attempt to appease the St James' Park fans by recalling crowd favourite Hatem Ben Arfa, who has started only 15 times this term.

Loic Remy is expected to return to the squad this weekend after missing 11 matches with a hamstring injury, while Davide Santon could also be restored after sitting out of the defeat to Stoke City last weekend.

There is still a long list of injured Magpies, though, with Mathieu Debuchy, Moussa Sissoko, Sammy Ameobi, Ryan Taylor and Gabriel Obertan definitely out and defender Steven Taylor a severe doubt.

Swansea are without a victory in their last 11 Premier League games on their travels, but have won their last three matches against Newcastle, who could drop to 10th if this run continues.

Recent form

Newcastle: LLLLWL

Swansea: LLWDLL

Possible starting lineups

Newcastle: Krul; Santon, Williamson, Coloccini, Dummett; Tiote, Anita, Gosling; Ben Arfa, Gouffran, Remy

Swansea: Vorm; Rangel, Williams, Amat, Davies; Shelvey; Britton, Routledge, De Guzman, Dyer; Bony

Sports Mole says: 1-1

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes looks on prior to kick-off against Liverpool during their Premier League match on January 12, 2014
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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