Abdoulaye Faye and Habib Beye both start for Newcastle United today but it looks like Steven Taylor failed his fitness test.
Surprisingly Mark Viduka starts on the bench and Alan Smith is included in the starting line up, presumably to play upfront with Martins.
It looks like N’Zogbia wll start at left back with Enrique on the bench but Big Sam also includes Barton, Geremi and Butt in the starting line-up, so we are again overloaded with central midfielders. It will be hard to keep the play wide with this team. Barton is preferred to Emre, who starts on the bench, and we expect Faye and Rozehnal to be in central defense.
This team looks like its main aim is to control the midfield. We’ll have to see how the team lines up when the play starts in 30 minutes.
For Blackburn Rovers, Ryan Nelsen serves the first of a two-match, and his place is taken by Tugay which results in a shuffle in the way Rovers line-up. Andre Ooijer will fill in for the absent Nelsen at center-back and Brett Emerton will move back to his more familiar right back role, with Tugay accomodated in the center of midfield.
BLACKBURN ROVERS: Friedel (c), Emerton, Ooijer, Samba, Warnock, Bentley, Tugay, Mokoena, Dunn, McCarthy, Santa Cruz.
Subs: Brown (GK), Savage, Pedersen, Reid, Roberts.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Given, Rozenhal, Barton, Martins, N’Zogbia, Milner, Smith, Geremi (c), Beye, Butt, Faye.
Subs: Harper (GK), Carr, Enrique, Emre, Viduka.