A pleasant surprise today in the squad as Joey Barton returns to the Newcastle United bench, having been sidelined because of cruciate ligament knee damage since the middle of November.
Joe Kinnear makes two changes to the side which was beaten 1-0 by Hull City in midweek, with both Andy Carroll and Jose Enrique coming in for Xisco and Jonas Gutierrez, who drop down to the bench.
That means Charles N’Zogbia will revert to a left wing midfield role, where he is joined by Danny Guthrie, Nicky Butt and Damien Duff.
This is the second time recently that Charles has been preferred to Jonas, but at least Joe Kinnear will have Gutierrez to call on if either Duff or N’Zogbia aren’t playing well. The last time Jonas came on he was the star man at Hull City.
And David Edgar keeps his place at right-back and Steven Taylor has to do with a place on the bench, so this is a big opportunity for the young 21 year old Canadian, with his second start in a row – an interesting move by Kinnear.
The bench is also a lot stronger and is as follows – Steve Harper, Joey Barton, Jonas Gutierrez, Xisco, Steven Taylor, Tamas Kadar, Kazenga LuaLua
It’s great to have Joe Barton back on the bench. and we would expect him to come on at some point in the second half, but this has to be good news for the team.
Howay The Lads!! – get that win and then we’ll all celebrate tonight!
Blackburn Rovers: Paul Robinson, Andre Ooijer, Stephen Warnock, Chris Samba, Tugay, Ryan Nelsen, Brett Emerton, Benni McCarthy, Morten Gamst Pedersen, Keith Andrews, Jason Roberts
Subs: Vince Grella, Aaron Mokoena, Keith Treacy, Roque Santa Cruz, David Dunn, Mark Bunn, Matt Derbyshire
Newcastle United: Shay Given, David Edgar, Fabricio Coloccini, Sebastien Bassong, Jose Enrique, Nicky Butt, Danny Guthrie, Damien Duff, Charles N’Zogbia, Michael Owen (c), Andy Carroll
Subs: Steve Harper, Joey Barton, Jonas Gutierrez, Xisco, Steven Taylor, Tamas Kadar, Kazenga LuaLua