Mix ‘n’ Match: Michu and Cisse to bring goals in Swansea/Newcastle XI

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Swansea will return to the Liberty Stadium in buoyant mood on the back of their League Cup success, as they aim to justify 23/20 favouritism to beat Newcastle in Wales.

Perhaps surprisingly though, we believe only four Swans players would make it into a combined starting 11 consisting of talents from both teams.

In a decision not made hastily, we first opt for Tim Krul to keep goal, edging out compatriot Michel Vorm, who has impressed immensely since joining the Swans in 2011.

Krul’s impact since becoming first-choice at Newcastle has been immeasurable though, with his performances earning him the Dutch number one jersey on occasions as he became a key component in the Magpies’ surge to a Europa League spot last season.

Arguably busier this term, Krul boasts an impressive tally of 71 saves from 22 league matches played.

Two players from each club then make up our back four, with Angel Rangel and Davide Santon the types of modern full-backs crucial to supplement attacks in this 4-4-1-1 system.

The pair are capable defenders, but it is their comfort on the ball and ease of distribution that wins them their places in this line-up.

The decision regarding the team’s centre halves was one of the easiest to make meanwhile, as we plump for the captains of either side to marshal the defence.

In Ashley Williams and Fabricio Coloccini, the side not only has a dominant aerial presence, but two solid ball-playing defenders whose comfort in possession would again be crucial to the team’s style of play.

Further up the pitch, Capital One Cup hero Nathan Dyer is our first midfield selection, operating from the right-hand side.

Blessed with blistering pace, Dyer’s discipline and will to track back as a wide player is a massive positive, whilst the six strikes he has registered in all competitions so far this season show he has an eye for goal.

On the opposite wing, Hatem Ben Arfa’s inclusion is justified by his ability to create something out of nothing, as the French international demonstrated with a number of wonder goals last season.

And an all-Newcastle central midfield pairing of Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote provide the heartbeat of the side.

Cabaye’s intricate passing ability would be appreciated by the attacking talents within the team, whilst Tiote’s selection brings protection to a very forward-thinking midfield.

Perhaps most obviously, we opt for Miguel Michu next, choosing to allow the imposing Spaniard a free role in between the midfield and striking positions.

A goalscorer in the League Cup final, Michu has made a massive impact at Swansea, posting a tremendous 19-goal return since his summer arrival from Rayo Vallecano and becoming the focal point of their side.

And to finish off the team, we pick a player who too made everyone sit up and take note upon his initial arrival in England.

Indeed, Papiss Cisse hit 13 goals in his first 14 Newcastle appearances to help steer the club to a top-six finish, and whilst he hasn’t been as prolific this term, he has chipped in eight times.

With a penchant for a wonder strike, Cisse would reap the rewards of spear-heading this team, and could boost his goal ratio significantly with the support of the likes of Michu.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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