You can probably read into Newcastle's 2-2 draw in the season opener anyway you choose. It could be an encouraging start, with the Magpies playing attacking football, getting Cisse off the mark early, and showing more intent than they did under John "best manager in the league" Carver. Or, you could gripe that the back line still needs some work and same old Newcastle gave up the lead, at home. Or, you might point out that Southampton had just come off of some European matches, was maybe a little fatigued, and so we can't yet assess Newcastle.
The picture should get a little clearer on Saturday when the Mags make the trek to Wales to face off with Swansea. The Swans will have their tails up as well, after snatching a point from the reigning champs last weekend. Let's take a closer look at Newcastle's opponent.
Manager: Garry Monk. Monk apprears to be on his way of, well, remaining a fixture in Swansea. After a 10 year playing career, and a decent full season as manager last year, Monk signed a three year contract extension this summer. Now, it's no 8-year deal, but it's a good start.
Who's new: The Swans brought in Andre Ayew this off-season, and the Frenchman got off to a flying start with a goal against Chelsea.
Last week: Swansea nabbed a draw at Chelsea to start the season. Andre Ayew and Bafetimbi Gomis nabbed the goals for the Swans.
Injury Concerns: Ki Sung-yueng may be out with a hamstring injury. Jordi Arnat is out with a foot injury.
This fixture last year: Papiss Cisse scored in the 75th minute to level the scores at 2-2. Swansea have somewhat dominated the series of late, having won five of the previous six meetings.
Who to watch for: Jonjo Shelvey had himself a nice opener and Monk is saying he should be pushing for an England call-up. For a Newcastle side that was vulnerable to the attack last week, Jefferson Montero could be quite the handful.
Newcastle News and Notes: Vurnon Anita will be available for selection. The midfielder was carted off the pitch last weekend, but is said to have made a "miraculous" recovery". Remy Cabella and Paul Dummett are showing signs of improvement, but still look to be out for this match.
Newcastle: Krul; Janmaat, Mbemba, Coloccini, Haïdara, Anita, Colback, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Obertan; Cissé
Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Shelvey, Cork, Ayew, Sigurdsson; Montero, Gomis
For Newcastle to win: The Mags will have to play smart on defense. Not giving Shelvey opportunities to play in good service on set pieces would be a good start. With the back line still figuring things out, it will be important to limit counter opportunities. Offensively, Newcastle will have to keep their focus. Newcastle faded down the stretch last week, they'll need to be stronger for 90 minutes to get a result.
How to watch: The match will be on DirecTV Channel 491. Streams will be available through NBC Sports Live Extra (US) and TSN2 (Canada).