Pardew Expects Blackburn To Attack Newcastle – Vuckic To Start?

Tomorrow afternoon we entertain Blackburn Rovers at St. James’ Park in the 3rd round of the FA Cup, and after the heroics of Wednesday night, anything but a win will be a disappointment for Newcastle fans.

Haris Vuckic – gets another start tomorrow?

And it’s not like it will be an easy game against Blackburn tomorrow either, since they have nothing to lose, and they will no doubt go all out to get their second win against Newcastle in a Cup competition this season.

They beat us 4-3 after extra time back on 26th October in the Carling Cup at Ewood Park, but we are assuming Alan  Pardew will put out his strongest side tomorrow afternoon.

Of course we will now be without Demba Ba and Cheick Tiote until the home game against Wolves  on 26th February.

However, if either the Ivory  Coast or Senegal get knocked out of the African Cup of Nations before the final, the lads could return before that time – the final is on February 12th – and that’s one day after our previous game at Spurs on 11th February.

This is what manager Alan Pardew said about the game tomorrow afternoon:

“It’s a case of accepting it and showing people that it’s not all about those two,”  “It’s about the team and what else can come to the fore.”

“When we lost Andy Carroll last year, Peter Lovenkrands and Leon Best became two of our best players.”  “They haven’t featured much recently – Peter’s been injured so we are looking forward to seeing him back.”

“But one or two of the others will need to step up to the plate and we are looking forward to seeing them.”  “We’ve got a quick turnaround to Blackburn, and it’s my job to make sure we are right for that game,” 

“We have to be as fresh as we can be and make sure we are focused on the game, because Blackburn are going to make sure it’s not an easy game for us.”

“I expect them to come at us.” “A cup run brings momentum to a football club, and for us we want to continue our momentum so we want to win the game.”

We’re not sure what the team will be tomorrow, since Alan didn’t give anything away at his press conference yesterday afternoon, but we have to think young Haris Vuckic could start in midfield along with Yohan Cabaye,  if the Frenchman is fit.

Pardew had also mentioned giving Mehdi Abeid a chance in defensive midfield once Cheick Tiote left for Africa, so the 19 year-old Frenchman is another possibility, and we suppose 21 year-old Dan Gosling could also come in.

We’re assuming Danny Guthrie is still not fit.

Up front we expect either Leon Best or Ben Arfa to get the start with Shola Ameobi, who looked quite good on Wednesday night, and we’re not sure if  Peter Lovenkrands is fit again.

So this could be the side that starts tomorrow afternoon:

Simpson Coloccini Williamson Santon
Taylor (R) Vuckic  Cabaye Gutierrez
Best Ameobi (Sh)

There’s no doubt that a lot of fans will want Ben Arfa to  start tomorrow as the withdrawn striker, but we have a sneaking suspicion that Alan will start Best and Shola  Ameobi,  to have two big men up front like we had on Wednesday evening.

What’s your team for tomorrow?

Comments welcome.