Newcastle United are finding it hard to convert draws in to wins and are dropping crucial points in their bid to avoid relegation this season. Rafa Benitez’s appointment was seen as the next step for the Magpies, but unfortunately things are yet to work for the Spaniard.
Swansea are the next opponents for Rafa’s side who guaranteed their Premier League stay with a 1-0 win over Chelsea last weekend. Under Francesco Guidolin, the Welsh side have found their confidence and it will not easy for Newcastle to get the better out an in-form Swansea side.
Ahead of the game at St. James Park, we take a look at three key questions which ought to be answered when Newcastle take on Swansea in their bid to fight relegation.
Will St. James Park turn on their new manager?
There is no stadium in England which is as vocal and expressive as St. James Park. The Geordies never hold back in criticizing their manager if they feel he is not doing the right work.
Since his appointment, Rafa has only promised results but so far has failed to deliver them. After seeing their team draw against Sunderland and lose against Norwich, I wonder if Rafa will finally see the brutal side of St. James Park which he had heard of before taking the job.
Will Swansea falter in celebrating their survival?
One of the most clichéd sentences in Sports states that, “team is at its most vulrenable when they have just taken the advantage.” It could apply to Swansea this weekend who recently ensured their Premier League safety with a 1-0 win over Chelsea last weekend.
Newcastle can indeed take advantage of Swansea’s relaxed approach to the game and knick crucial points off to aid their own relegation battle.
Can Newcastle’s defense stay firm?
In Alekanser Mitrovic, Newcastle have a player who can score goals and will do on any given opportunity. However, it is their defense which has led them down this season.
Rafa needs to know his best back-4 and stick to it for the remainder of this season. Be it a 3-man defense or a back-4, Newcastle keeping a clean sheet vs Swansea is a must.
If they manage that then Rafa has got the players who can score goals at the other and win crucial points for their team.
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