It is expected to be a six-point thriller at St James' Park on Saturday afternoon, as Newcastle United look to continue their rise away from the Premier League relegation zone against a Swansea City side looking to continue their resurgence under new manager Carlos Carvalhal.
Newcastle climbing but still dangerously close to the edge
It hasn't been quite return to the English top-flight that many Newcastle fans will have been hoping for, as it has proven to be turmoil both on and off the pitch. Newcastle's recent form especially at home has been one of a relegation contender having lost five of the last six and with talks still ongoing over a possible takeover it looks increasingly unlikely new faces will be coming in.
Back on the pitch though, their form has picked up slightly with a crucial away win at Stoke City before the visit of Luton Town in the FA Cup third round. Goals from Ayoze Pérez and Jonjo Shelvey made sure they weren't on the end of a upset with the 3-1 victory. They will also receive a boost knowing that they have already thwarted their fellow strugglers 1-0 earlier in the campaign, but with two points separating them and the drop zone they will know a result of a similar fashion will be vital.
Untested Carvalhal the man to pull Swans away from danger?
Many have already been quick to write Swansea's eviction notice from top-flight with Paul Clement failing to galvanise The Swans, but fans will be hopeful that the arrival of Carvalhal will be enough to give their side a fighting chance.
The Welsh outfit currently find themselves anchored to the bottom of the table and struggling to find goals, and many were left shaking their heads with the announcement of Carvalhal who himself had only just been relieved of his duties at Sheffield Wednesday.
Things seemed to get off to a flyer with the much-needed win over Watford, but were certainly brought straight back to earth when they were defeated 2-0 by Tottenham Hotspur. Their FA Cup clash against Wolves was one of the rare occasion where the higher-ranked side played the role of the underdog but managed to hold out for a 0-0 draw, a replay is the last thing either side will have wanted but could prove a much needed boost ahead of the trip to Tyneside.
The Magpies have been given a major boost with the return of skipper Jamaal Lascelles, the defender secured the win in the return fixture but concerns were raised when limped off in last Saturday's victory but is once again fit.
Rob Elliot and Chancel Mbemba are also fit for consideration despite the defender being linked with a move to West Ham United, however Aleksandar Mitrović, Florian Lejeune and Jesús Gámez all remain on the sidelines. The major weakness for Carvalhal will be the serious doubt surrounding the fitness of loan striker Tammy Abraham who is suffering with a hip injury, another loanee in the form Renato Sanches is also a doubt for the trip to Tyneside with a hamstring issue.
Ki Sung-yueng and Leon Britton rejoin the side following their return from calf injuries while Kyle Naughton returns for selection following a three-match suspension, the clash could prove to be a special occasion for a young Swan as academy product Connor Roberts could be line for his Premier League debut. Newcastle United will host Swansea City at St James' Park on Saturday, January 13 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.