After last Sunday’s season-defining win over Liverpool, an equally tough test awaits Newcastle United on Good Friday, when they travel to Wales to take on Swansea. The Swans’ have all but preserved their top flight status for another season thanks to their Barcelona-like style of football and healthy home record.

Brendan Rodgers’ team have only suffered three home defeats all season and the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal have come unstuck at the Liberty Stadium. The fact that Rodgers’ is hot favourite for the LMA Manager of the Year is testament to his achievements since taking over at Swansea.

However, the Geordies are on a hot streak of their own and now have their sights firmly set on a European place next season. The gap between sixth and seventh is now ten points and Alan Pardew’s side will be hoping to catch Chelsea this weekend, as Roberto Di Matteo’s side will fall behind Newcastle with anything other than a win.

Friday’s clash sees two of the most in-form players in the Premier League go head to head, as Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse and Swansea’s Gylfi Sigurdsson pit their wits against one another, each hoping to continue their impressive scoring runs.

The Senegal striker has seven goals in seven starts since joining from Freiburg and his header last week against Liverpool, combined with his neat tap-in later in the game, had Geordies salivating at the thought of the rest of the season and next.

A blow for Pardew’s side though is the absence of Fabricio Coloccini, who will remain sidelined with a hamstring injury that kept him out of the win over Dalglish’s beleaguered Reds. James Perch – enjoying the form of his life – should continue to deputise with Mike Williamson in the centre. The lack of height combined with Swansea’s preference to play football on the floor will likely ensure that Perch’s lack of height isn’t too easily exposed.

Sammy Ameobi, Steven Taylor, Sylvain Marveaux, Leon Best and Peter Lovenkrands all remain sidelined with injury too, whilst news is awaited on Danny Guthrie’s calf strain which saw his premature removal last time out.

Swansea will have Steven Caulker to call upon once more, after he missed the defeat at Tottenham last week due to his loan arrangement from the Londoners stopping him from playing against his parent club.

A win or a point for Swansea would take them to the “magic” 40 point mark, but in truth it would take a disastrous turn of events for them to return to the Championship at the first time of asking. Newcastle can go within two points of 3rd place should they become the fourth team to win at the Liberty Stadium and the Arsenal, as well as Spurs, drop points.