Newcastle managed to keep all their top players during the January transfer window, and even bring in top Senegal striker Papiss Cisse for £9M from SC Freiburg.
The Senegal strikers Demba Ba and Papiss will not however be available for tonight’s game at Blackburn, and the big problem we have about this game is who is going to score the goals for Newcastle?
Shola Ameobi and Leon Best didn’t look like scoring at all in the last game at Brighton on Saturday, and they were not helped out by Ben Arfa and Danny Guthrie, who scored the goals in the 5-2 drubbing at Fulham in the previous game.
In that game in the second half Newcastle’s defense looked hopeless, but on Saturday it looked stronger, but we still conceded a soft goal to go out of the FA Cup at the 4th round stage to a lower league side for the second year in a row.
We have to think it’s about time Danish striker Peter Lovenkrands gets a start tonight, and probably in place of Shola Ameobi, who has shown little form over the last couple of games.
Of course Alan Pardew may keep Shola in the line-up exactly because of that – since he must be a due a goal – having scored only once all season, in the home game against Tottenham, when he rifled home the equalizer in great style.
Yohan Cabaye has received a three match suspension so is not available tonight or for the next couple of games against Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
We have a feeling that Ben Arfa will not start this game, after he was not in good form at Brighton, and gave the ball away too much.
Alan Pardew will not want to lose possession too many times in tonight’s game and we think Ryan Taylor could start the game on the right wing.
And as for who comes in for Cabaye, maybe it’s time to give young Dan Gosling a start, and it’s his 22nd birthday today.
But the good news is that captain Fabricio Coloccini is fit again after his groin injury, and will lead the side out tonight.
This is the team we think Pardew will start tonight:
Simpson Coloccini (c) Williamson Santon
Taylor (R) Gosling Guthrie Gutierrez
Subs: Harper Perch Abeid Marveaux Ameobi (Sh) Ben Arfa Ferguson
The keys to the game are that first of all the defense has a solid game.
We’ve been too prone lately in letting goals in and in the 12 league games since the Chelsea 3-0 defeat Newcastle have concede three or more goals in six of those games, and that’s not good.
Davide Santon is an excellent player on the ball, but his positioning at left back is often suspect, and he cannot let the winger get around him on the outside and get the cross over.
And in midfield, we will have to hope that Danny Guthrie has one of his better games tonight, and that some players will be able to go on the goal trail, although exactly who they will be, we don’t know.
Ben Arfa will play some part tonight, and of course he can score goals, but it’s about time our strikers produced the goods tonight.
Lovenkrands (3), Best (4) and Shola Ameobi (1) have only eight goals between them this season in all competitions, and that’s simply not enough.
We are not too confident about this game, and will be happy to take a point from Ewood Park tonight.
Let’s hope the lads can surprise us on the upside and win tonight, and 3 points will take us up to at least 6th position in the league, and maybe even 5th place depending on how Arsenal fare at Bolton Wanderers.
Howay The Lads!!