Fri, Feb 11, 7:41am by Kevin Pitstock
Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United meet at Ewood Park, with no-one quite knowing what to make of Alan Pardew’s side after their sensational 4-4 draw with Arsenal. This might be a match up between two sides in the middle of the table, but both know that if they start to slide just a little they can get dragged into a relegation scrap very quickly indeed. There’s a feeling of stability at Blackburn, with Steve Kean settled in – but anarchy never seems very far away with Newcastle’s Magpies.
BLACKBURN ROVERS PREVIEW
Blackburn just need to watch themselves a little. They have lost their last three games, with FA Cup defeat against Aston Villa followed up by a home reverse against Spurs and then a madcap match with Wigan last week, where they were beaten 4-3 in the end. Manager Steve Kean naturally said they had some defensive issues that needed addressing after that. While they are trying to pass more, they did revert to sending the ball up front in a hurry after falling behind. They have six wins from 12 home games – another indication that they remain a mid table team right now.
NEWCASTLE UNITED PREVIEW
As often happens, hype overtook intelligence when everyone talked about Newcastle missing Andy Carroll last week. He’d been out injured for some time. It might be fair to say it did something for morale, but any negativity has surely disappeared by the manner of their comeback against Arsenal. With Shola Ameoi injured,they have added a striker to the squad in Shefki Kuqi. He’s a 34 year-old Finn who had recently been playing in the English second tier. He has Carroll’s build, but has to be considered, to be polite, a stop gap, though he is reasonably fit at present despite having been a free agent. Newcastle have struggled for goals on the road – it’s just ten in 12 Premier League matches. Midfielder Cheik Tiote’s return has restored an important influence.
BLACKBURN ROVERS V NEWCASTLE UNITED BEST BET AND PREDICTION
Newcastle have what it takes to get a draw here, and that’s priced at $3.35 with Centrebet. Alan Pardew has hinted at greater pragmatism away from home. A 1-1 scoreline is the one to be on.
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