Newcastle host Blackburn Rovers this Saturday at a sold out St James' Park for Mick Lowes' last commentary game on BBC Radio Newcastle. After 25 years of following Newcastle to virtually every game, but resisting the urge to swear at our defending, his retirement is well earned.
Blackburn, under the management of Owen Coyle sit just inside the relegation zone. Six years into the unpopular regime of the Venky family, Blackburn are struggling for attendances and performances, the latter not helped by the sale of a number of the star players. Jordan Rhodes goal presence, whilst overlooked at the Boro is missed at Ewood park.
Grant Hanley is not available to face his former team, joining Colbck and Aarons as confirmed injuries. Shelvey is available pending his misconduct hearing, also joining Dummett on the precipice of a one game ban for accumulating five yellows.
Blackburn can call on former Smoggie Marvin Emnes, but former mag Guthrie is out. Other absensees include Adam Hanley, Elliott Ward, Gordon Greer, Scott Wharton and Tommie Hoban.
Predicted Line Up
I've went for some changes, because I feel Rafa will rotate in some players rested post the international break. I do think Shelvey will play with Colback out, as Rafa won't take games for granted. Maybe Ritchie will get rested for Gouffran, the former wasn't at his best at Leeds but along with Shelvey adds an extra level of creativity
Benitez wrote:Blackburn have a manager with experience, and he know what he has to do to win games.
We are doing well but before any game I send the same message: Focus on the game & 3 points. It is more important than ever.
Blackburn have played well recently. We’re talking about a good team that are in a bad position. We have to be concentrated.
Coyle wrote:It shows the strength of Newcastle’s squad that Grant, who we all know is a very good player and a really nice young man, has found himself on the bench and only started a few games.
But football can change quickly. In Grant’s case, when you are out of the team you have to make sure you are working your socks off on the training ground so when the chance presents itself you are ready to take the chance and stay in the team, irrespective of what club you are at.
Referee David Coote
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