Blackburn vs Newcastle – Match Preview

Blackburn beat Newcastle 2-1 at St. James’ Park back on Wednesday 10th November, and it proved to be sweet revenge for former Newcastle manager Sam Allardyce.

But Blackburn were helped immensely in that game by sloppy defensive work from the Magpies, the same sloppy defending that saw Newcastle 4-0 down at home last Saturday after just 25 minutes.

This time Cheick Tiote made his first serious mistake in a black and white shirt,  when he tried to dribble his way out of the penalty area after just 3 minutes, and was caught in possession and Newcastle were 1-0 down.

Another sloppy goal was conceded  in the second half, when a high ball was played though the center and that was Blackburn gifted a second goal which turned out to be the winner.

Both clubs have new managers since that time,  with Alan Pardew coming in for the sacked Chris Hughton, who couldn’t agree terms yesterday to take over WBA, and former Liverpool and Fulham manager Roy Hodgson got the job.

Steve Keen took over from the sacked Sam Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers in December.

After last Saturday’s heroics at St. James’ Park,  it’s small wonder that manager Alan Pardew wants a more solid display from the Newcastle side tomorrow and a 1-0 win would be just great.

And there’s no doubt that one big key to the game tomorrow for Newcastle is for the defense to be a lot more solid than it was last Saturday, when in that first half it looked just pathetic. If the fantastic turnaround hadn’t happened last Saturday, let’s face it we would have talked a lot more about relegation this week.

We have to hope that most of the poor football played by Newcastle last week in that first half  was in the mind, with Andy Carroll leaving the club, but from now on this Newcastle side have to start picking up points, and wins would be very nice.

With Andy gone, and Shola out of the side with his injured cheekbone, Newcastle brought in new boy Shefki Kuqi yesterday, and we expect the 34 year old experienced striker to be on the bench tomorrow afternoon.

And indeed we expect manager Alan Pardew to keep the same side that got Newcastle into big trouble in the first half last week, and then miraculously got Newcastle out of trouble  – all within 90 minutes of pure drama – in a game that will go down in the annals of history as one of the greatest comebacks ever by the Newcastle United club.

Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Stephen Ireland and Phil Airey are all out injured right now, and will not take part in tomorrow’s game.

We are hoping that both Leon Best and Nile Ranger will both be  fit, after both had to withdraw from International games in midweek.

This is the side we expect Alan Pardew to field tomorrow afternoon:

Simpson Coloccini Williamson Enrique
Barton Nolan (c) Tiote Gutierrez
Best Lovenkrands
Subs: Krul Perch Ferguson Campbell Guthrie Ranger Kuqi

Last week it was set plays where Newcastle were really dangerous, and completely dominated Arsenal in that second half.

And we have to hope that tomorrow, that’s where we will set up most of the chances, and certainly in the second half all the lads last week showed great determination and character.

We’d like to see that from the very first whistle tomorrow afternoon, and not be 4-0 down when the lads finally decide to start playing, or when they get a blast from manager Alan Pardew.

Newcastle and Blackburn are both on 31 points, with Newcastle having a much better goal difference and having played one game less than Rovers, so these games are important to win, but the last thing we want is to drop all 3 points against a side beneath us in the league.

In order to win the game tomorrow, Newcastle will need to get off to a good start, and then defend solidly and hope that Best, Lovenkrands and then Nile Ranger in the second half, and maybe even Shefki Kuqi,  can get some goals.

It’s a really important game tomorrow, because with just 13 games to go in the league, and Newcastle only 5 points above the drop zone, the next few games will be very important to Newcastle’s season.

And since Blackburn have already taken 3 points off Newcastle this season, it would be very nice to even up the score.

A win would be absolutely terrific, and what we are hoping for tomorrow afternoon.

Comments welcome.

23 comments so far

  • Thump

    Feb 11, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #1

    We’ve got the ball rolling with Arsenal, now we need to keep it rolling and focus on keeping this momentum going.


  • Sinner

    Feb 11, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    Comment #2

    A win nothing less! 😀
    Btw Ed,you made a typo error.
    We are hoping that both Leon Best and Nile Ranger are ”NOT” fit, after…….

  • boater

    Feb 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Comment #3

    Only 2 mentions of Carroll Ed, you’re getting there.

  • GeordieGerman

    Feb 11, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Comment #4

    Carrolls left Ed… ?

    … When?

  • toonarmy1986

    Feb 11, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Comment #5

    can anyone else see Kuqi scoring a last minute winner then all of a sudden be a new hero and people quickly forget what they wrote all this week without giving him a chance. As a matter of fact everyone did something similar last season saying we are all doomed for relegation then 45 minutes later everything changes such a fickle bunch aren’t we haha.

  • atom

    Feb 11, 2011 at 6:18 PM

    Comment #6

    Ed- Glad to head the operation went well.

    Big week this week as we can realistically pick up 6 points and be just about safe at 37 points. Tough game on Saturday as top sides have difficulty at Ewood Park getting full points. We have not played well for a full 90 in a little bit now, will need to bring it this weekend and hopefully the momentum from last week can carry over to this week.


  • tcbelfast

    Feb 11, 2011 at 6:55 PM

    Comment #7

    @toonarmy1986…….we sure are a fickle bunch but thats football for you.
    hey,i say give the big lad kuqi a chance,u never know he mite be ok for the last 10/15 minutes of a game or else he’ll be crap.
    now it not the time to judge…….everything crossed for 2moro.3 points by whatever means and i think everyone here will be happy!!

  • Whitecap

    Feb 11, 2011 at 7:00 PM

    Comment #8

    We must use the momentum from the last match or it’s all for naught. I expect the lads to come out with the same fire they displayed in the 2nd half against Arsenal. Pardew should want no less.

  • HOGC

    Feb 11, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #9

    pls do not put lovenkrands in the first team, though i like him as a guy, he is simply not good enough, and i cant see that he will become better

  • nicolnj

    Feb 11, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    Comment #10

    “Ben Arfa, Ryan Taylor, Steven Taylor, Dan Gosling, Shola Ameobi, Stephen Ireland and Phil Airey”

    Look at those names, we are a force to be reckon with once everyone is fit. had Ben Arfa did not break his leg we’d be higher up and he’ll be in the same league as Tiote right now in terms of fan support

  • Dennis Twice

    Feb 11, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    Comment #11

    Sheriff Kugi attack 1-2 Toon Toon Toon!

  • Dennis Twice

    Feb 11, 2011 at 8:11 PM

    Comment #12


  • toonyoyo

    Feb 11, 2011 at 8:30 PM

    Comment #13

    scrappy game with the toon coming out on top expect at least one goal from mid field 2 – 1 toon army

  • BeeGuy

    Feb 11, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    Comment #14

    If NUFC can keep the door shut for the first 10 minutes, I think they can come out of it with a point or three. But, there needs to be consistency, because Rovers are well schooled and will take advantage of the mistakes that occur.

    A few thoughts:

    NUFC has not enjoyed an opponent putting a ball in their own goal.

    Only Colo has scored for the back line.

  • dunzer1990

    Feb 11, 2011 at 9:58 PM

    Comment #15

    hope that leon best and Nile ranger are not fit?sinner i assume you’re one of these guys that must talk utter b0llocks whenver you write on this sort of thing?with 4 fit strikers u want 2 to be out injured?and considering that leon has 4 from 7 (should be 5) i would think that he is more than pullin his weight don’t you?or are you all mouth and no trouser when it comes to football facts?

  • willowdalerez

    Feb 11, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    Comment #16

    Ranger’s back is still touch n’ go & Kuqi has been brought in as cover so look for Best n’ Lover to start up front… Too bad cause Best is a horrible finisher and blows all his chances (just good at keeping the ball up really) & Loverboy is more of a set-up man than a strong finisher himself (but not as strong and often pushed off the ball by willfull defenders)… not a strong pairing at all really ;-(

    I’d prefer Lover n’ Ranger or Best n’ Ranger b/c once Ranger matures (discipline and on-the-ball) he’ll be a class finisher and first class striker!

    For the Lads to do us proud the midfield’s going to really have to hold the ball up well… All four of our go to guys Nolan, Barton, Tiote & Guti are going to really have to be at the top of their game and on defence Collo and the Bull will also have to have standout performances…

    If that happens then our Magpies can win a scrappy one away and take all three points 2-1 or a hard fought draw 1-1 with the goal(s) being generated from our midfield (look for Nolan, Barton or Tiote to score or one of our strikers to capitalize on a Barton cross or Nolan rebound).

    Still these are easy/casual observations… Pards is going to have a hell of a time getting our midfield to play like hell when our front is sooooo weak. the midfield wil have to be creative and ditch the longball in favour of a more creative style of play…

    Our strikers are so weak that if I were Pards I’d play a 4-5-1 for once and throw Guthrie in with Nolan, Tiote, Guti, Barton to start and play only Best up front… Nolan or Tiote could drift up a bit so it’d play a bit more like a 4-4-1-1. Doubt you’ll see it but that’s a line-up that’d throw their defence and wreak havoc on the inside with Barton powering balls up to Nolan or Chiek and Guti steaming down the side to place passes into the Striker or Nolan or Chiek…

    Anyway am not the mgr so I’ll just watch it and see How Pards plays it but am not convinced he’s got the imagination or skills to lead us to victory let alone out of relegation zone troubles.

    Hopefully Nolan keeps our squad’s heads above water!!!


  • baro

    Feb 12, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Comment #17

    We really need to carry our momentum into this game and not give up on couping all 3 points for this game. I would go with Best and Lovenkrands up front with Nile Ranger coming on and being the game changer and kuqi coming on lat and snatching the game winner on his former Premier League team. That would be brilliant! HWTL!

  • Brutooon

    Feb 12, 2011 at 6:50 AM

    Comment #18

    We going to win 1-2. goals by BEST and Kuqi

    *practicing the kuqi’s goal celebration*

  • The Entertainers

    Feb 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    Comment #19

    Hate playing bloody Blackburn, they are such a hard working team, with the odd quality player.
    Would be more cautious myself and play Nolan behind Best. With Guthrie in the middle along with Tiote!
    Boring and not very attractive but I’m still worried about this season and can’t wait until we hit that 40-42 point Mark !

  • andre29

    Feb 12, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Comment #20

    Blackburn vs Newcastle STREAM

  • Magpies-till-d3ath

    Feb 12, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    Comment #21

    For some weird reason I can’t see the Toon Army coming back with a win! Don’t Know Why! but I do know that as The Entertainers mentioned Blackburn are a hard working team and when they play at their best they even make matches hard for big teams

    Prediction- 1-1 Ranger to get his first PL Goal!

  • costello91

    Feb 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Comment #22

    Dunzer: sinner was telling ed about a mistake he made in the article, so relax will you. theres no way any newcastle fa wud want those to injured!! get out of bed the wrong side today?


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