Blackburn V Newcastle at Ewood Park : Match Preview
No fresh problems for Rovers.
Blackburn manager Steve Kean has no new injury worries ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash against Newcastle at Ewood Park. Centre-back Christopher Samba could return to the starting line-up after Kean reiterated he would not be leaving the club before the transfer window closes.
Striker Ayegbeni Yakubu is suspended and defender Ryan Nelson is one step closer to making a return after he trained with the squad on Tuesday. Kean is confident his side can get a result.
"We know Newcastle very well," Kean said.
"We know they're a team who could miss a few players (with the African Nations Cup), but we've only lost one game in the last five and we were unlucky we didn't get a draw in that Stoke game.
"We went to the tough away games - Anfield, Old Trafford and Everton, got points from that and managed to beat Fulham with 10 men.
"We're in a good vein of form and we're confident we can keep the run going.
"If we can get fresh faces and people that are excited about being here added to the ones we're getting back, that will give us a massive boost."
Newcastle's Senegal due Demba Ba and Papiss Demba Cisse will not be involved in the squad. Alan Pardew had hoped to have his 15-goal hitman and his January signing available following their country's swift departure from the African Nations Cup, but they will not be back in time. Central defender Fabricio Coloccini will be available after shaking off the groin injury which kept him out of Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Brighton, and the club's decision to contest midfielder Yohan Cabaye's FA charge for violent conduct means he too could yet figure.
Pardew was hoping for a quiet phone as the January transfer window drew to a close. Pardew has spent much of this month hoping against hope that the kind of call his club received on this day 12 months ago, when Andy Carroll made a sensational £35million move to Liverpool, did not materialise again.
Goalkeeper Tim Krul, skipper Fabricio Coloccini, midfielder Cheick Tiote and striker Ba have all found themselves the subject of speculation of moves away from Tyneside. However, as he conducted his pre-match press conference ahead of their Barclays Premier League trip to Blackburn with around 10 hours of the window still to run, he was keeping his fingers crossed. Asked if Newcastle's resolve had yet been tested, Pardew said:
"Not really, no, if I am honest.
"We have had a few enquiries, but not of our big key players, some of the lesser players who are trying to find some experience, and one or two of those might go out - [James] Tavernier, for example.
"Alan Smith has obviously gone and we wish him well because he is a fantastic professional. I hope he does really well for MK Dons. He's a big signing for them."
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