What next? That will be the question on the minds of many Swansea City fans as they return to Premier League business after last weekend’s sensational Capital One Cup triumph.
With their first-ever venture into European competition as a English league side guaranteed by the 5-0 victory over Bradford at Wembley and a late Champions League charge barely more than a pipe dream, there’s a risk the Swans’ season may begin to tail off.
However, with Michael Laudrup already laying out his plans to invest again in the summer, any member of the current squad not seen to be pulling their weight could be packing their bags and heading for the exit rather than potential away trips to the continent.
In order to stay in contention for next season’s squad, Laudrup’s current line-up must first justify their position as evens favourites in the 3Way betting for this weekend’s clash with Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium.
A victory for the Magpies is 13/5 and the draw is a 12/5 chance, but if the Toon are to catch Swansea off-guard, they will need to start fast and the visitors are 29/10 to get the opening strike in the first half.
And of course, boss Alan Pardew now has a good selection of forwards to get his side that first goal.
Moussa Sissoko has been a revelation since arriving from Toulouse in January and is 15/4 to break the deadlock with his fourth goal in five Premier League starts, while he also seems to have fired up Papiss Cisse, who’s 6/1 for a 12th opening goal since arriving on Tyneside.
It is possible that any post-celebration Swans malaise could last until half-time and Newcastle are 29/10 to lead at that point. But Laudrup’s team haven’t gone from 91st place in the Football League to the Europa League in nine seasons by rolling over easily.
Ten times in the past two years the Swans have come from behind to get a result, with lead-draw 16/5 and lead-lose 25/4 in this one.
Laudrup need not fear any sloppiness from his forwards as Michu is on a Golden Boot charge and Nathan Dyer and Jonathan de Guzman will want to to settle their personal scoring battle from Wembley, making all three well priced at 13/10, 5/2 and 19/4 for anytime goals.
Michu and De Guzman provided enough firepower in the reverse fixture up at St James’ Park for the Swans to emerge 2-1 winners back in November and with their added momentum since, I’m backing them to repeat that triumph, even if they fall behind.
A repeat scoreline would mean new customers using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin can join in the ongoing Swansea celebrations with a £170 win of their own.