Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United – Match Preview

Posted on February 1st, 2012 | 37 Comments |

Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle united - Ewood Park Venue: Ewood Park, Blackburn
Date: 1st February 2012
Kick Off: 8.00pm
Referee: Phil Dowd.

Don’t know about you, but I’m getting sick of the sight of Blackburn Rovers! We’ve played them three times already this season and of course they were never off the TV screens during the really vicious fan protests against their manager Steve Kean and owners, the Venky chicken moguls of Pune in India.

Having said that, after the weird loss to them earlier in the season in the League Cup, we’ve since beaten them at St James’ Park in Premier League and the FA Cup so it would appear we have the measure of them. Let’s hope so, because Liverpool’s win last night sees them temporarily occupying the 5th spot that is rightfully ours.

I sympathise with Steve Kean, who I think has conducted himself professionally and with dignity during the period of nasty personal attacks he has had to endure. I feel for his family and friends too. I wish him well for the future and hope he justifies his position as Blackburn Manager and has a run of success. But Steve, if you’re reading this – can you start all that after tonight mate?

As I mentioned earlier, Liverpool’s win last night sees them, for 24 hours at least, occupying a fifth place in the table which will be ours if we play to our capabilites between now and the end of the season, and if our much-vaunted strike force can remain fit and score a hatful of goals. The only blot on the landscape is the club’s abject failure in the January Transfer Window to sign the central defensive cover we so clearly need. We’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed on Willo and Captain Colo – the latter of whom is beginning to show signs of wear and tear lately.

To this game then, three points are essential to keep our pre-eminent position amongst the Premier League’s so-called elite, and to keep the pressure on Sky telly, ITV and the BBC to occasionally acknowledge that the noisy lot from the North are actually still in there pitching. Nothing less will do. Get your team selection and tactics right Pardew – that’s your job.

Blackburn Team News

Steve Kean has no new injury worries ahead of the game. Centre-back Christopher Samba can be expected to return to the starting line-up after Kean refused to let him move on – but what state his head will be in is anybody’s guess. It remains to be seen whether any of the three players Blackburn brought in yesterday were registered in time to feature in this game.

Striker Ayegbeni Yakubu is suspended.

Newcastle United Team News

Our Senegal duo Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse should be back on Tyneside today but it will apparently all be a little too late to be involved in the squad. Unless of course Pardew is pulling one of his fast ones?

Captain Coloccini will be available after shaking off the groin injury or knee injury (depending on who you believe) which kept him out of Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Brighton. Yohan Cabaye’s appeal against the ridiculous FA charge will be heard some time today, so if successful he may still feature in the team.

What The Managers Are Saying

Steve Kean: “We know Newcastle very well, We know they’re a team who could miss a few players (with the African Nations Cup), but we’ve only lost one game in the last five and we were unlucky we didn’t get a draw in that Stoke game. We went to the tough away games – Anfield, Old Trafford and Everton, got points from that and managed to beat Fulham with 10 men. We’re in a good vein of form and we’re confident we can keep the run going.

Alan Pardew“I’m disappointed with the result on Saturday, although I wasn’t disappointed with the performance, and the physical and mental technical stats were as good as we’ve had, the result was wrong and that’s something we’ve got to put right at Blackburn and against Villa. The next two games are very, very important.”

“We’re in such a great position to attack that top six, and that’s what we’ve got to do.”


I expect Alan Pardew to manufacture a win from this game, although I’m not sure where any United goals are going to come from. Leon Best couldn’t score in a night club with a blonde on either side (see previous article), and Shola? well, What do you think?

Blackburn Rovers (Likely Squad): Paul Robinson, Martin Olsson, Gael Givet, Scott Dann, David Dunn, Morten Ganst Pedersen, Radosav Petrovic, Steven Nzonzi, Jason Lowe, David Hoilett, David Goodwillie, Mark Bunn, Grant Hanley, Adam Henley, Mauro Formica, Simon Vukcevic, Ruben Rochina, Anthony Modeste, Chris Samba.

Newcastle United (Likely Squad): Tim Krul, Rob Elliot, Steve Harper, Danny Simpson, Ryan Taylor, Davide Santon, Shane Ferguson, James Perch, Fabricio Coloccini, Mike Williamson, Tamas Kadar, Yohan Cabaye, Gabriel Obertan, Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Dan Gosling, Mehdi Abeid, Haris Vuckic, Leon Best, Shola Ameobi, Peter Lovenkrands.

NUFCBlog Author: UTD111 UTD111 has written 59 articles on this blog.

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37 Responses

  1. No sign of the Demba’s I take it then? Bah, I just hope Mclovern gets the nod over Shola. At least he has pace and can actually score.

    We need the win tonight to get back on track and maybe get 5th(Depending on the Arsenal result)

  2. Apparently our strike force won’t be home until Thursday now – United even tried to get a private jet organised but were beaten by the logistics…:(

  3. Folks – I forgot to mention in the stuff above that the usual Match Banter feature will be on here from about an hour before kick off! Doh!

    Bring along any streaming links you have for the match!


  4. news coming in that mike ashley wants a total revamp in the production of young players after the 6-0 defeat to man u. rough gems to be lost and what could of been for some players :(

  5. Roy Cropper says:
    February 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “nee goals the neet.”

    When people say or write stuff like that it usually ends up being 5-4, so well written Roy! ;-)

  6. They really are a bunch of gits, no offence to any gits out there.

    I guess if you play for arsenal & elbow someone, it’s ok then?

  7. The London FA strikes again – one law for London Teams, one for the rest….

    Suarez gets banned for 8 games, Terry is still sauntering around unpunished

  8. london teams and man ure of course!! shame we didnt get a centre back, we need a lot of luck now! can we borrow some off the mancs?

  9. No Cabaye tonight.I guess Pardew will show us another piece of tactical mess. Just waiting to see what he’s planned.

  10. My team for this eve:


    _______Ben Arfa




  11. Dreamer,

    i think it’s based on a piece in the chronic, it won’t allow me to post it up here mate.


  12. old boy says:
    February 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    “No Cabaye tonight.I guess Pardew will show us another piece of tactical mess. Just waiting to see what he’s planned.”

    Sometimes a manager uses the wrong tactics, sometimes a manager may try to use the right tactics than find he cannot implement them well because he lacks deoth. Sometimes a manager can implement the right tactics well, but when the game, or the opposition changes a manager may find himself lacking in flexibilty because once again he lacks depth.

    One thing’s for certain though, what makes things complex is that before you know your tactics you should should your players intimately and make the tactics work around them. You can change your tactics in seconds, but it takes years to make a great footballer with all their strengths and weaknesses and you can’t just change them overnight.

    Coming back to Pardew, he is a very “English” manager who was brought up in the English tradition and he likes to work with players who were also brought up in that tradition. This can bring problems as the club are currently concentrating on buying up cheaper foreign players from less competitive leagues who were brought up in a diffrerent tradition. This can work well with some foreign players, especially when they have a more defensive side to their game, other times however, it may not work so well, as with very highly talented attacking players who can break boundaries such as Carlos Tevez and Hatem Ben Arfa.

  13. RE tonight game tho. I normally have a quiet confidence going into games this season, but I honestly think we will do very well to come away with a draw.

    It’s not be being negative, I think the way Blackburn play and the confidence they have at the moment, they will be VERY dangerous.

    0-0, 1-1, 2-2… I’ll take any of them.

  14. This is one of those games where some of the fringe players have to step up, what with the 2 Demba’s, Cabaye, Tiote & Saylor missing. Colo should be back & that should help, but a very tough game away.

  15. United need to dig deep tonight, not feebly as they did against Fulham and Brighton. We want to see a solidly built victory to restore our faith that we can at least get into Europe since, despite the blather, we didn’t last too long in either of the cups.

  16. I wouldnt trust Pardwho to pick the right players in the right formation regularly but what he’s got to stop is the stupid ploy of playing players out of position and therefore their comfort zone. Jonas in centre mid for example.

    I’m also a little concerned about Santon, having watched the last two games, as he’s been lucky to escape a sending off in one or other of them and Hoillet is no slouch as we all know.

    If we pack the midfield (I’d go for Raylor on wide right duty and Jonas on the left) and leave Best up front we should be able to get a point. Whatever he does lets hope he’s learned that we cant afford Shola and Best in the team at the same time :(

  17. Worky,
    agree with you.
    But that’s very theoretical vision :) one more- how many games have we turned of being losers into winners? Maybe I’m wrong but don’t remember such a game. Maybe the problem’s the players? I don’t know.

  18. i hope i’m wrong, but i can see us getting turned over.
    we seem to be entering a bit of a rut, and blackburn have had some good results lately.
    i can see a similar result to the cup game, we had with them, earlier in the campaign.
    added to the fact, i’ve been to that “last of the summer wine” backwater, on numerous ocassions, and we’ve never won, when i’ve attended.

    omens were not good the first time i went there, when we were in the old first division, under the kevin keegan renaissance period.
    they had jack walker’s lowie behind them, and it was an f.a cup game, f**kin’ roy wegerle knocked us out.

    i dont fancy us tonight if sheila amoebi plays up top, and leon best on the wing.
    it doesn’t even sound right, “we’ve got leon, leon, leon, leon, best on the wing”.
    terry hibbert, he is not, sorry but 3-1 to blackburn, but i hope i’m proved wrong.