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Blackburn continue the merciless pounding of the defenceless

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Lawro's prediction

 

Blackburn v Newcastle

 

Newcastle are on a bit of a bad trot and they are missing quite a few players at the moment too.

 

Blackburn are unbeaten so far under Big Sam, he's made a decent start and he's had some time to work with them on the training ground.

 

Their organisation is already better as is their shape, so I'm going for Blackburn in this one.

 

Verdict: 2-1

 

BBC preview

 

 

Blackburn v Newcastle

PREMIER LEAGUE

Venue: Ewood Park Date: Saturday, 17 January Kick-off: 1500 GMT

Coverage: Score updates on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Lancashire 95.5/103.9/104.5 & 855 & 1557 AM & highlights on Match of the Day; featured game on Final Score

 

Striker Roque Santa Cruz and midfielder David Dunn return to Blackburn's squad.

 

Santa Cruz has missed the last four matches with a calf strain, while Dunn has been nursing a hamstring problem.

 

Newcastle's Steven Taylor (calf) and Andy Carroll (hamstring) are hoping to be included in the Magpies squad, but Joey Barton (knee) is still sidelined.

 

Geremi (back), Jose Enrique (groin), Obafemi Martins (hernia), Habib Beye (ankle), Alan Smith (foot) and Shola Ameobi (knee) are also out.

 

Blackburn (from): Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Tugay, Mokoena, Andrews, Dunn, Grella, Pedersen, McCarthy, Santa Cruz, Derbyshire, Roberts, Brown, Khizanishvili, Treacy, Simpson, Olsson.

 

Newcastle (from): Given, Harper, Bassong, Coloccini, Taylor, Edgar, Kadar, Butt, Guthrie, N'Zogbia, Duff, Gutierrez, Donaldson, Godsmark, Owen, Xisco, Carroll, LuaLua, Ranger.

 

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce: "If I were to beat anybody, it would give me satisfaction to beat Newcastle, particularly with the difficult position we are in.

 

"But I am like anybody else, when you play against a former club, as player or manager, you want to beat them.

 

"A win gets us closer to them and that is critical from our point of view."

 

Newcastle manager Joe Kinnear:

"Our next four games are against teams currently below us in the table so it's a good chance to put distance between us and them.

 

"Let's hope we are still talking like that after going to Blackburn.

 

"We have had a tough period recently but we need to keep working hard and picking up results."

 

Make your Premier League predictions

 

BIG-MATCH FACTS

 

Newcastle's 600th Premier League match and 300th away from home, sees them facing Blackburn's Sam Allardyce for the first time since his dismissal from St James' Park in January of last year, after only 24 matches in charge.

 

The football world was just coming to terms with the shock announcement that Joe Kinnear had been appointed interim manager of Newcastle, following Kevin Keegan's swift exit, when these clubs met for the reverse fixture in September, which Kinnear watched from the stands.

 

Blackburn, the Premier League's most infrequent winners are facing one of the top-flight's draw specialists. This would have been the second week running this has happened had Rovers' match at Fulham not been frozen off last Saturday.

 

Rovers have won only two league games at home; Newcastle just one away from home.

 

Blackburn are on their lowest points total to this identical stage of a Premier League season, since the relegation campaign of 1998-99; Newcastle are on their lowest total ever after 21 games of a Premier League campaign.

 

Newcastle travel in search of their 50th league victory over Blackburn.

 

Distance between the clubs: 128 miles (206 kilometres)

 

CLUB FORM

 

BLACKBURN ROVERS

Club stats

 

19th 18 points

Highest achievable after Saturday's matches: 16th

Lowest could fall: 20th

Best & Worst categories in 2008-09 Premier League

 

1. Kept off the foot only by goal difference.

 

2. Picked up five points out of the last nine.

 

3. Gained one win and two draws in their three league games under Sam Allardyce, plus a narrow FA Cup victory over non-league Blyth Spartans.

 

4. Won one of 14 Premier League matches, and won of seven at home; 3-0, against Stoke on 20 December.

Fixtures

 

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Club stats

 

11th 23 points

Highest realistically achievable after Saturday's matches: 10th

Lowest could fall: 16th

Best & Worst categories in 2008-09 Premier League

 

1. Picked up one point out of nine.

 

2. Won two of 10 Premier League matches.

 

3. Won only one of the last 10 league games on the road; 0-3, against Portsmouth on 14 December.

 

4. Won only one of eight top-flight matches against North-West clubs this term; 1-0, home to Bolton on 23 August.

 

5. Won one of 13 league visits to the region; 1-3 against Bolton at the Reebok on 11 August 2007; lost seven of the nine subsequent trips across the Pennines, picking up two points out of 27.

Fixtures

 

KEY PLAYER NOTES

 

BLACKBURN ROVERS

Squad profiles

 

David DUNN is a double shy of 50 club career goals.

 

If selected:-

 

Ryan NELSEN will be making his 100th Premier League appearance - all in Blackburn colours.

 

Damien DUFF will be facing the club where he was a trainee. The 29 year old Republic of Ireland international made 223 appearances (184 in the league) and scored 35 goals (27 league) for Rovers before his £17m move to Chelsea in July 2003.

 

If on the field from the outset:-

 

Roque SANTA CRUZ will be making his 50th league start for Rovers.

 

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Squad profiles

 

Shay GIVEN and Fabricio COLOCCINI have played every minute of every one of Newcastle's Premier League matches this season.

 

Michael OWEN has scored nine Premier League goals against Blackburn; seven for Liverpool and two for Newcastle.

 

If he scores:-

 

Shola AMEOBI will take his total of goals for Newcastle to 50.

 

If selected:-

 

Steven TAYLOR will be making his 100th Premier League appearance in Newcastle colours.

 

HEAD TO HEAD

 

Last season's victory in this corresponding match was Blackburn's first home maximum over Newcastle in five attempts, and second in 10 league and cup meetings at Ewood Park.

 

Rovers are pursuing a second successive double over the Magpies.

 

Home and away

League (inc PL): Blackburn 47 wins, Newcastle 49, Draws 25

Prem: Blackburn 12 wins, Newcastle 7, Draws 8

 

at Blackburn only

League (inc PL): Blackburn 34 wins, Newcastle 13, Draws 13

Prem: Blackburn 7 wins, Newcastle 2, Draws 4

 

LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME

 

Blackburn Rovers 3-1 Newcastle United

1 December 2007 - Ref: Martin Atkinson

Blackburn scorers: Bentley 54, 67, Kerimoglu 90

Newcastle scorer: Martins 47

 

THIS SEASON'S REVERSE FIXTURE

 

Newcastle United 1-2 Blackburn Rovers

27 September 2008 - Ref: Steve Tanner

Newcastle scorer: Owen 51 pen

Blackburn scorers: Samba 31, Roque Santa Cruz 41

 

REFEREE

 

Steve Bennett (Orpington, Kent)

Edited by Neville Neville Neville

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I expect we'll see similar fair from the only fit 11/12 senior players we have. I can understand why JFK sticks with "proven""talent" :devil: , but I just want to see some of the youngsters on the pitch if we're losing with 20 minutes to go. God knows why we didn't use any youngsters against Hull, how else are we supposed to find out if they can actually play, or if Newcastle aren't setting themselves up for the next "Operation Ore"

 

Prediction: same old uninspired fair for 70 mins. 20 mins of OK football (not sure when this will happen). 1 substitute to be made after 83 mins.

 

Blackburn to grind out a 3-1 win

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I would really love a win against these pricks, Sick of staying up to 4 in the morning to watch them get a last minute draw or lose.

 

Owen to score two, Given to have a blinder to keep blackburn to 1 goal

 

:devil:

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Id love to win of course, but wiping that fat smug grin of SA's face would ease some of our pain. I expect though, it to be another pin in our eye as has been this season...

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Teams according to the beeb. barton on the bench!!! Edgar ahead of geordie boy himself

 

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Samba, Nelsen, Warnock, Emerton, Andrews, Kerimoglu, Pedersen, Roberts, McCarthy. Subs: Bunn, Dunn, Roque Santa Cruz, Grella, Mokoena, Treacy, Derbyshire.

Newcastle: Given, Edgar, Bassong, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Duff, Guthrie, Butt, N'Zogbia, Carroll, Owen. Subs: Harper, Barton, Gutierrez, Xisco, Taylor, Kadar, LuaLua.

 

edit:missed that... jonas benched for the zog/duff

Edited by Neville Neville Neville

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Great, we know we're facing Big Sam's team of hoofball clods so we leave our trickiest player on the bench. Instead we play a slow shit left winger in his place while giving our wantaway stroppy snot a game.

 

Nevertheless, if there's an away game we can win it's surely this one so we must play for the 3 points.

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