Three Reasons To Be Cheerful

Last updated : 06 September 2017 By Footy Mad - Editor

Newcastle United have long floundered away from home in the Premier League, but they should welcome the prospect of a trip to Swansea City.

Image result for Swansea v Newcastle

Despite excelling on the road in the Championship last year, Newcastle United's away record in the Premier League is woeful to say the least.

The Magpies have not won away from St James' Park in the top flight since December 2015, that victory at Tottenham Hotspur - a happy hunting ground for Newcastle - being just their second of the season.

That tale of woe continued with defeat at Huddersfield Town in the second week of the current campaign, but they now have an opportunity to end the slump with victory at Swansea City on Sunday.

Here are three reasons for Rafa Benitez to be optimistic...

The Shelvey effect

Jonjo Shelvey will have watched England's struggles in the international break with a sense of real frustration, one can imagine, as his foolish red card in the opening day defeat against Spurs cost him any chance of making the squad.

But the six-time international certainly has the talent to win a place in Gareth Southgate's side, even if it is less than two years since he could not even get a game for Swansea.

Newcastle signed Shelvey from the Welsh club in January 2016, but he was again dropped and restricted to a bench role when Benitez's side beat Swansea in the final weeks of the season.

Now back from suspension - and back in form, based on pre-season - Shelvey will head to the Liberty Stadium determined to show Swansea what they are missing.

Other returning stars

Benitez's Newcastle are nothing if not solid. While creativity may be lacking, their four Premier League defeats under the Spaniard have been by a margin of one or two goals.

Prior to Shelvey's red card against Tottenham, the Magpies were holding their own and, without several injured defenders, they have conceded just once in two subsequent games.

But Shelvey is not the only player potentially returning to the fold this weekend as DeAndre Yedlin and Florian Lejeune have recovered from injury - according to the Sunderland Echo.

Lejeune - an accomplished defender, adept with the ball at his feet - could be one of the signings of the season, while Yedlin's athleticism is key at either end; Newcastle are closing in on a full-strength XI once again.

Struggling Swans

With four points from three games and an exciting pair of deadline day signings in Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony, many may now consider this a fine start to the season for Swansea.

And yet they have looked awful in their opening three matches, drawing 0-0 at Southampton and losing 4-0 to Manchester United without registering a shot on target, before scraping past a hopeless Crystal Palace side.

Names like Sanches and Bony are sure to thrill fans, but both transfers represent huge risks - the Portugal international flopped last season at Bayern Munich, while Bony likewise struggled with Stoke City.