Blackburn Rivers have won their last five games played at St. James’ Park.
So what does that mean?
It means the odds that Newcastle can get another win are probably quite good, especially since Blackburn Rovers are not a good road team both last season or this season.
It’s an excellent chance for Newcastle to get their third win in the Premier League, but of course these games can always be a little dicey, when a team comes to St. James’ Park who are much lower in the league and a Newcastle win is expected.
Life and football are not that easy.
Blackburn had made a terrible start to the season, with just one point from their first four league games, but then they beat Arsenal 4-3 last weekend for their first win, and they are now one place above Arsenal on goal difference.
Blackburn seem to have been on a downward spiral since their new Indian owners surprisingly replaced Sam Allardyce last November, and appointed the third in command at the time, Steve Kean, to take over.
Steve has a lot of coaching experience, but had never been a manager before, so where Venky’s decision to appoint Kean as manager came from, we have no idea.
But Blackburn played quite well last Saturday, and had help with two own goals from the Keystone Cops – sorry – I meant the Arsenal defense, but they looked like the Keystone Cops on the goals they conceded.
And Blackburn got a valuable win, and we had visions again of an unhappy and frustrated Arsene Wenger on the bench – looking for a water bottle he could throw to the ground in disgust.
Newcastle are on a high right now, having won 4-3 at Nottingham Forest last Tuesday night, in another gutsy display from what essentially was a second eleven, and the side remains unbeaten in seven games this season.
And there were many good performances from the so called fringe players in mid-week, and the regular first-teamers will have seen they need to keep performing to keep their starting positions in the side.
And that’s exactly what you want to happen at any club, so it will be very difficult for the Newcastle manager, Alan Pardew, to decide who to start tomorrow, and then who to pick for the bench.
We have a feeling that Alan will keep the same side as the one that did so well at Villa Park last Saturday, and the lads were just a little unlucky not to get all 3 points, which would have had the side 3rd top of the league and above Chelsea.
This is the side we think Alan will start tomorrow:
Simpson Coloocini (c) Taylor (S) Taylor (R)
Obertan Cabaye Tiote Gutierrez
Subs: Elliot Ferguson Guthrie Abeid Ameobi (Sh) Ben Arfa, Marveaux
We think Abeid has earned a place on the bench with his good display in central midfield on Tuesday night, but there’s no room on the bench for Sammy Ameobi.
However, Pardew may prefer Sammy to Danny Guthrie, given that Abeid is on the bench and can cover for central midfield.
And there’s also no place for Dan Gosling, who may find it hard to get many games at Newcastle, and it’s also hard to see how Alan Smith will get many games this season, with presumably Mehdi Abeid now above him in the pecking order for central midfield.
But it’s going to be a tough decision for which players Pardew leaves out of the match-day 18, after everybody had good games for the side at the City Ground.
Newcastle must attack Blackburn from the first whistle tomorrow, and it’s up to the starting eleven to prove to us all, that they are the best eleven that Newcastle can field at the moment.
Frenchmen Hatem Ben Arfa and Sylvain Marveaux in particular are pushing hard for a starting position in the side, and both players had very good games at Forest.
To get a good result tomorrow the defense will have to keep up their good form, although they were culpable for the goal that Agbonlahor scored after 13 minutes at Villa Park, and both Colo and Krul could have done better on the play.
And of course we’ll need to score the goals, so we look for Leon Best to keep up his good scoring sequence, and maybe both the impressive French International Yohan Cabaye and Senegal International Demba Ba can get their first goals for the club?
But we fully expect Alan Pardew to use all three subs tomorrow in the second half, and Ben Arfa and Marveaux are almost certain to be two of them.
This game looks like a win for Newcastle, and that’s what’s dangerous about it, and the lads have to go out there and take absolutely nothing for granted.
The Blackburn players will had added confidence from their league win against Arsenal last weekend, and also their 3-2 home win in midweek against Leyton Orient in the Carling Cup.
But if Newcastle play anywhere near their best form they should be able to grab all three points, which will keep Newcastle in at least 4th place in the league for another week. That would be good.
And it’s kind of nice to see Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle United in the top four places in the Premier League.
What’s your team for tomorrow?
Howay The Lads!!